Antique Indian dagger carves out $37,000 price at Hermann Historica

Hermann Historica have completed some of their earlier auctions in their series, which runs until May 12. This includes their Antique Arms & Armour, Hunting Antiques, Arts and Crafts auction which included some exquisite bladed weapons.

Firstly, from the first quarter of the 20th century was a beautiful ceremonial shashqa sword. This presented a strongly curved single-edged blade with narrow double Calligraphic scrolls etched over the entire surface on both sides, with two gold-inlaid cartouches on each side at the base of the blade.

The hilt of massive silver is partially gilded, with richly cut, nielloed, and chiselled decoration. The pommel is shaped as a lion's head. It has two fixed suspension rings, with the bosses of the suspension ring bands slightly indented. A crowned golden cipher "V" has been applied at the upper edged on the obverse side of the scabbard.

According to the consigner, it comes from the possessions of the Aga Khan IV, and is a rare example of a shashqa with an animal head grip. Two similar pieces can be seen in the Hansen Collection in Denmark. It easily beat its €12,000 listing to sell for €18,500. It will make an excellent investment.


Early Dagger
Chilling... the beautiful but deadly chilanum

Even more spectacular was a 17th/18th century Indian dagger (chilanum), which boasts a curved, wootz-Damascus blade with ridges and grooves on each side. Smooth iron knuckle-bow hilt with a curved grip and extended pommel.

The elegant, early dagger, 34.5 cm in length sliced through its top estimate of €1,500 to sell for a stunning €25,000 - perhaps a reminder that wealthy Indian collectors such as Vijay Mallya are increasingly making their presence felt.

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