1700s, Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)
Steel and jade
Museum purchase for Charles F. Ramus Collection
The Mughal Empire was founded early in the 1500s; in the following century, the arts flourished under Jahangir (reigned 1605–1627) and even more so under his successor, Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal. During this period, jade from Hetian was fashioned into bowls, bottles, dagger handles, and other objects by Indian craftsmen who were accustomed to working with hard stones. This type of dagger was probably used as a presentation piece rather than as a weapon. The exchange of gifts of this type in the Mughal court was quite common.