Ornamental Dagger Sheath

unknownSilla, 5th century

Gyeongju National Museum

Gyeongju National Museum
Gyeongju-si, South Korea

This ornamental dagger sheath was excavated from tomb No.14 in Gyerim-ro, Gyeongju, which is a relatively small wooden chamber with a stone mound. At one time, there was a wooden attachment to the knobbed-handle and sheath, but it has rotted away. The handle and sheath are entirely wrapped with thin gold plates, with smaller pieces of gold plate attached to the surface in the shapes of waves, leaves, circles, ovals, and pinwheels. These attachments are further decorated with red garnets, and pieces of blue glass. The confluence of the geometric design of the colorful gemstones, and the luminous hue of the gold plates conveys a look that is both splendid and luxurious. Recently, it was revealed that an iron dagger was still inside the sheath. It is thought that this dagger was manufactured in the area around the Black Sea or in Central Asia, so this is an important object for showing the cultural exchange of Silla.


  • Title: Ornamental Dagger Sheath
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Silla, 5th century
  • Location: Gyerim-ro Tomb No.14, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Korea
  • Type: metal work
  • Rights: Gyeongju National Museum
  • Medium: L 36.0㎝

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