18 C. South India Dagger with Yali Head Handle

Dagger with Yali Handle

15031 Category:

Origin: India

Date: 18 C.


Yali is a mysterious creature in the Indian mythology, mostly in central and south India. It is found on many art works from the 16 C. and later. It is described as a creature combining features of lion and/or elephant and/or horse in various combinations and shapes. It is considered to be stronger and more powerful than a lion and a tiger and hence its shape was added to daggers and swords handles.

The dagger offered here combines a strong re-curving Chillanum style fullered blade and a heavy cast brass handle shaped as the Yali monster. The brass D guard is extended from the monster open mouth to the cross guard. Deccan or South India. 18 C. or about.

Blade 7 1/2 inches. Total 11 inches. Very good condition. No scabbard.

A similar dagger (with silver handle) from G. C. Stone collection is in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts NY, Accession Number: 36.25.1039, Also shown in Elgood, Robert. Hindu Arms and Ritual: Arms and Armour from India 1400–1865 p. 174, fig. 16.25.


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