Medium: steel, rock crystal, gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds
Measurements: Length: 39 cm; weight: 0.31 kg, without scabbard
The hilt of this magnificent Mughal dagger is fashioned from rock crystal inlaid with gold and set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. The name “Claud Martin” is lightly inscribed in tiny letters on one panel of the stone, half-way up the grip.
Claude Martin was a Frenchman who fought against the British in India, but changed sides following the siege and fall of Pondicherry in 1790-1. He joined the army of the British East India Company as an Ensign.
He worked his way up through the ranks to become Major General in charge of the Lucknow Arsenal. He is recorded as having been an enthusiastic collector of princely Mughal Indian arms and armour, so this dagger was presumably once his.