This compact and dignified dagger has a blade of damascus steel – it was handcrafted in India by the bladesmith who melded two different steels into a single blade to create the burl wood patterns on the blade. A floral sigil crafted from inlaid silver is emblazoned upon a single side of the blade.
The hilt with its tiger-headed pommel is of darkened steel and was finished with intricate patterns of inlaid silver created when the smith skillfully fitted thin silver wire into a hand-etched design before heating the hilt to fuse the silver and steel into one. This is the traditional art of Koftgari inlay.
The blade was fitted into the hilt by filling the hilt with a hardened gum resin to integrate the tang and hilt into place. This is the traditional construction method of many bladed weapons in India and while it may seem unorthodox it has some practical benefits. By leaving no gaps within the hilt rattling and shifting is eliminated and the resin has a modicum of give which gives the dagger construction some shock absorption.
The scabbard is of steel and silver Koftgari inlay to match the hilt; its inside is lined with velvet. Altogether this dagger is a showcase of the bladesmithing and decorative arts of India – a people who can take pride in a very long history of skilled metalworking and bladesmithing.