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Dagger: O.1 & A-1854

Object information

Awaiting location update


Maker: Unknown




The blade is single edged, with an almost straight edge, the back curving forwards towards the point. The back is flat and thick, and there is a broad, deep fuller at the back. The whole blade from the fuller backwards is covered in heavy silver foil chased with floral scrolls and geometrical ornament of a pearled ground. The hilt is of dark horn, finely carved with sections of foliage, secured by three brass rivets with three from an original four decorative silver washers. At the junction with the blade the hilt is covered with a heavy silver ferrule, chiselled into a complex spray of waves at the edge side. The pommel cap is of silver chased with flowers. The tang extends the full width of the hilt, and is covered at front and rear with bands of tooled silver. The scabbard is of wood covered with fluted silver sheet, decorated with bands of silver filigree.


History note: Uncertain

Legal notes

Given by Miss C. Harwood

Measurements and weight

Length: 340 mm
Weight: 392 g

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1854-05-05) by Harwood, Miss G.


1700 CE - 1799 CE


This is a very fine example of the characteristic dagger of Sri Lanka. Both the decoration of the blade and hilt as well as the scabbard are of silver. The hilt is probably made from black coral or dark horn.

Components of the work

Scabbard composed of wood
Hilt composed of horn
Rivets composed of brass (alloy)
Blade Length 215 mm
Silver Foil, Cap

Materials used in production

Silver foil

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: statement of provenance

  • Text: 'probably one of two East Indian Weapons given by Miss G Harwood, 1854’.
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: old accession number

  • Text: ARM 1-1854
  • Type: Museum label

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.1 & A-1854
Primary reference Number: 162287
Accession number: ARM 1-1854
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 4 May 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 5 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Dagger" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-28 08:14:41

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