Middle east & caucasus
An Exceptional Mecca Jambiya dagger
A late 19th Century Mecca Jambiya for special order
Origin: Saudi Arabia
Date: Late 19th early 20th Century
A traditional Arab Jambiya dagger of exceptional quality manufacture, in Mecca or Medina. The Hilt style is purely Mecca design of very high quality once it was fully gilded. A very similar handles are on two very well known daggers: the first is in the Met collection commemorates a Turk’s pilgrimage to Mecca inscribed as being made in Medina #31.35.1a–c , the second is the very famous T.E Lawrence Jambiya given two him in 1917 for the victory over the city of Aqaba Jordan. The scabbard however is different than Mecca style shape and has an Omani L shape with extremely rare and unusual pattern of pierced scale design. A very ornate gem set Jambiya with the same decorated scabbard is also in the Met # 36.25.983a, b.
Our dagger has hilt entirely encased in parcel-gilt silver panels enriched with silver filigree bands and rosettes, dual edge blade with a pronounced central rib, forged from good steel 7 inches long , scabbard with gilded silver mounts, the central portion of the outer face decorated with a pierced scale pattern with complicate arrangements of 7 gilded silver rings and twisted silver wire for a carrying belt. Total length 11 1/2 inches. Very good condition. Gilding on the handle is mostly gone. A small repair for twisted silver wire binding. This dagger must have been made as special order in Mecca or Medina either as a gift for a person of rank or possibly because of its Mecca style scabbard, for a an important Omani special order.
For a very similar scabbard look at the glossary of construction of arms and armor Stone 1934. fig. 396, no. 24. Now in the met #36.25.983a, b. Another dagger with the same pierced scabbard in: a guide to oriental arms and armor by Michael C.German 1967, P.29 fig c3038
Price : On request
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