Original 18th Century Ottoman Wootz Steel Jambiya Dagger with Horn Grip in Silver Encrusted Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Janbiya, also spelled janbia, jambiya, and jambia (Arabic: جنبية janbīyah), is the Arabic term for dagger, but it is generally used to describe a specific type of dagger with a short curved blade. The term janbiya is used in various Arab countries and India, it is closely associated with the people of Yemen and is prevalent among Muslim men in the Horn of Africa (primarily the Afars of Djibouti).

This is particular dagger is from the Ottoman Empire, based in present day Turkey. The blade is made from "Wootz Steel", an early form of laminated crucible steel, similar to "Damascus Steel," probably dating from the early 18th century. In those days the empire engulfed much of the Middle East, before declining in the 19th century and dissolving in 1918 at the end of WWI.

The fittings on the dagger look to be from the late 18th or early 19th Century, as it was common to refit blades of high quality such as the one in this example. The hilt is made entirely from several pieces of horn, with joints around the middle of the grip and at the center of the pommel to cover the end of the tang. It is a lovely dark brown color, with some great striations visible. The scabbard is entirely clad in decorated and embossed silver sheet over a wooden interior. There is a lot of filigree work, so the time taken to execute all of the decoration is mind-boggling.

A very attractive and well made dagger, with a beautiful "Wootz" blade. Definitely a worthy addition to any collection.

Blade length: 9 3/4”
Blade Style: Double Edged Curved
Overall length: 14 3/4"
Scabbard Length: 12"

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