Lapis lazuli Pesh Kabz
Origin: India (Northern India)
Date: 19th century
Materials: lapis lazuli, Gold, Wootz
A fine quality and imposing 19th century Pesh Kabz with a Lapis Lazuli hilt and Wootz Blade.
A PRECIOUS STONE - LAPIS LAZULI
This 18th century Indian Pesh Kabz is finely crafted with a wootz (watered) steel blade. The hilt is constructed of a polished Lapis lazuli stone in the form of a ‘pistol’ grip. Lapis Lazuli is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense colour. The stone is either Persian or Afghan as it contains its qualities of —Intense, uniform, medium dark, slightly violetish blue, and contains little or no pyrite, and no calcite. The stone on this hilt is highly rich with a deep blue colour, meaning it is of the highest quality stone - making it very rare and precious. The hilt is of a pure and rich form of Lapis Lazuli, due to rare nature of this gemstone, it was only utilised by Kings and other Royals as the soft blue stone represented wealth, along with gentleness, sympathy and love. The owner of this Pesh Kabz would have therefore been recognised for their powers of love and affection. The blade is constructed of Wootz steel with a prominent pattern showing tight structure along with swirls. The blade indeed high quality. It is unusual to see such a good quality wootz pattern on this type of dagger.
The tang, hilt and forte are eloquently decorated in gold koftgari, in traditional Indian (Mughal) style with flower-heads between scrolling foliage. The design is very thought through as it wraps the around the hilt in a very elegant way since the koftgari is so detailed. It is clear that the artisan had taken their time when crafting such a piece. Individually, each flower and scrolling foliage is visible and carefully crafted. The koftgari throughout is in very good conditions, the gold bright and thick to touch with little to no loss. Overall the koftgari is 99% intact and in a great state of preservation.
CONCLUSIONAll these characteristics make this Pesh Kabz exquisite and interesting, in a superb state of preservation. The style and materials used for this Pesh Kabz signify that it was in fact made for an individual of high status and one with an eye for details. Yet the blade and strong build and character of this Pesh Kabz truly shows that it was not only a decorative piece used for the Durbar (court) wear.
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