Walrus Ivory Pesh kabz
Origin: India (Mughal period)
Date: 18th century
Materials: Walrus Ivory, Gold and wootz steel
A sought after large Pesh Kabz (dagger) from the 18th century Mughal period in India.
THE PESH KABZ
Such type of dagger, the Pesh kabz, is associated with India, Persia and Afghanistan and was the preferred weapon of choice for armour piercing due to its size, ease of mobility. The key purpose of this type of dagger is to pierce armour and chain mail; and this Pesh Kabz does not shy away from its true and intended purpose.
Our example features two thick slabs of walrus ivory to form the larger than usual hilt, which are solidly joined with its original bolsters. The ivory slabs show a good colour and age patination with natural age ‘cracks’, which are a sign of fine quality walrus ivory. The hilt is very large and bulky; an indication it was made specifically for the user and was for practical use rather than darbar (court) wear. The tapered blade is possibly of wootz steel (yet to be confirmed, but the blade shows a blue hue which is an indication of wootz. Further cleaning and etching will reveal this) with traces of gold on the tang. The pronounced blade tapers to an acute tip, perfect for armour piercing.
For similar examples of this type of Pesh Kabz, see the Met Museum Accession Number:36.25.758a, b, 36.25.708a, b and 36.25.1067a, b.