Dagger and sheath

Ottomansecond half of the 16th c.

Armoury, Dresden State Art Collections

Armoury, Dresden State Art Collections
Dresden, Germany

This dagger was presented as a gift to Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony by Emperor Matthias in 1617. Its one of the most splendid items in the Türckische Cammer. Almost along its entire length, the straight doulbe-edged blade has elegant openwork decoration and rich gold damascening. The decor consists of intricate tendrils with serrated feathery leaves and rosettes in curvilinear fields. The blade smith demonstrated his supreme craftsmanship by integrating two small movable pearls into the groove below the hilt, which was particularly complex technical achievement. The grip, pommel and scabbard are completely covered with chased gold plate. Evenly distributed over the entire surface are rubies and turquoises set in flower-shaped bezels. The ends of the short cross-guard, which bend in towards the blade, are in the form of extremely stylized dragon heads. While the front of the dagger is impressive for its abundance of precious stones, the reverse of the scabbard is characterized by much simpler yet exceedingly elegant decor. Engraved on a smooth ground are intricate scrolling vines and tiny flowers. Throughout its whole length, the surface of the back of the scabbard small areas of damage reveal a white, plaster-like material which was used as the substrate for the richly chased gold plate.


  • Title: Dagger and sheath
  • Creator: Ottoman
  • Date Created: second half of the 16th c.
  • Physical Dimensions: w390 cm
  • Collection: Rüstkammer with Türckische Cammer (Armoury with Turkish Chamber)
  • Type: dagger and sheath
  • Rights: Rüstkammer, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Photographer: Jürgen Karpinski
  • External Link: http://skd-online-collection.skd.museum/de/contents/show?id=286283

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