Danish Battle-Ax with Design in Silver.
- Dated: 18th century
- Culture: Indian (Mughal)
- Measurements: overall length 40.5 cm
The dagger has a straight, double-edged, Damascus steel blade, grooved at the centre and slightly strengthened at the tip. It features a beautiful, dark green jade grip with an angled pommel, chiselled with floral motifs at the edge and enriched with rubies framed with yellow gold.
The silver-plated wooden scabbard is engraved and decorated at the upper parts with a bas-relieved garland and a band featuring an inscription in Arabic. There’s also a shell-shaped tip, a decorated suspension ring and remains of gilding.
For similar, jade grips decorated with hard stones and gold, see “Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour” by Robert Hales, pages 18-27. Also, this is interesting and rare blade, almost straight, has an unusual length considering the type of dagger.
- Dated: unknown
- Medium: steel, gold
- Techniques: casting, gilding
Roman Iron Socketed Arrowhead
CULTURE / REGION OF ORIGIN: Roman Empire
DATE: Circa 3rd-4th Century AD
DIMENSIONS: 6.2 cm long (2.44)
DESCRIPTION: A substantial Roman iron socketed arrowhead. The point is square in section, widening from the tip to about 2.5 cm along its length before becoming circular in section. A small chip at the hollow base reveals the spot where a peg helped fix the arrow shaft to the arrowhead. The surfaces are a very dark rust color with a few small patches of light soil adhering. Stable and well preserved.
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a German private collection.
COMPARISONS: For a related example, see Pat Southern and Karen R. Dixon, “The Late Roman Army”, Yale Univerisyt Press, 1996, Figure 49 b.
SPECIAL NOTES: Roman arrowheads were fashioned in a great variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the type of bow used or the purpose for which the weapon was set. Classic tri-lobate and tanged arrowheads that had been in use since much earlier in antiquity did continue until late in the Roman era but beginning in the 3rd Century AD socketed arrowheads such as this one, resembling Medieval bodkin style arrowheads, became widespread. The new type may have been more effective in dealing with heavy body armor such as that worn by Sassanian cavalry. Like this example, they were fixed to reed or wood shafts. Rare survivals in dry climate archaeological sites have shown the shafts were often painted to denote their owner or a matching set.