Qajar Jambiya

The Qajar Walrus ivory-hilted dagger (Jambiyya) from the first half of the 19th century that is presented here is a remarkable example of the decorative arts of the Qajar dynasty in Persia (modern-day Iran). Let’s delve deeper into its exquisite features:

  1. Deeply Carved Hilt with Figural Depictions: The hilt of the dagger is made from walrus ivory and is intricately carved with depictions of figures of high rank, possibly representing Fath Ali Shah Qajar, who was the ruler of Persia during the Qajar period (1797-1834), and his consort. The carving showcases elaborate details such as their clothing, jewelry, and facial features, reflecting the high level of skill and artistry of the Qajar craftsmen. Figural depictions on the hilt were common in Qajar period daggers, and they often depicted members of the royal court or important historical figures.
  2. Curved Wootz Blade with Raised Medial Ridge: The blade of the dagger is made from wootz steel, known for its unique patterns and strength. It has a curved shape and features a raised medial ridge, which is a central ridge running along the length of the blade. This type of blade design was commonly used in traditional Middle Eastern and Persian daggers, including jambiyas. The blade may also feature etchings or inscriptions, showcasing the artistic craftsmanship and attention to detail of the Qajar period.
  3. Leather Scabbard with Embossed Ornament: The dagger is housed in a leather scabbard that is adorned with embossed ornamentation. The ornamentation includes intricate patterns, floral motifs, or other decorative elements that are embossed onto the leather, creating a raised relief effect. This type of embellishment was a common technique used in Qajar period leatherwork and reflects the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail that was characteristic of the time.

The combination of the deeply carved ivory hilt with figural depictions, the curved wootz blade with a raised medial ridge, and the leather scabbard with embossed ornamentation make this Qajar jambiya a truly extraordinary piece of decorative art. It reflects the artistic and cultural innovations of the Qajar period and would have been a symbol of prestige, power, and aesthetic appreciation during that time.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

A Qajar Marine ivory-hilted dagger (Jambiyya)

Stock Number: 23258

A Qajar Walrus ivory-hilted dagger (Jambiyya) first half 19th century with a deeply carved hilt depicting figures of high rank, possibly Fath Ali Shah Qajar and his consort, the curved wootz-blade with raised medial ridge, and leather scabbard with embossed ornament.
Approximate Dimensions


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