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Ibrahim (active 1877)

Dagger and scabbard 1877

Gold, enamel, steel, pearls, diamonds, wood and velvet | 40.6 x 4.5 x 3.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 11289

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This dagger was a late gift to the Prince of Wales from the Maharaja of Alwar and was sent to the Prince whilst the gifts were on display at Bethnal Green Museum in 1877. It has an ingenious blade with a curved channel filled with loose pearls that move with the motion of the dagger. The dagger was made by a swordsmith called Ibrahim and is one of the few examples of the Prince’s gifts where the maker is known. The rulers of Alwar exhibited swords and daggers made by Ibrahim at international exhibitions, such as the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886, of which the Prince of Wales served as Executive President. Today, the dagger is considered to be one of the finest examples of Indian craftsmanship in the Royal Collection.