Shah Jahan’s dagger sold for Rs 13.4 crore

Updated on Apr 11, 2008 02:38 AM IST

A gold-encrusted personal dagger of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was auctioned at London’s int'l fine arts auction house Bonham for £1.7 million, which is more than three times the expected amount, reports Vijay Dutt.

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HT Image
Hindustan Times | ByVijay Dutt, London

A gold-encrusted personal dagger of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was on Thursday sold for £1.7 million, or Rs 13.4 crore — more than three times the expected amount.

London’s international fine arts auction house Bonham said the response from bidders was extraordinary — just like the dagger. “Normally such rare items are bid by two or three. But for the dagger, there were numerous bidders in the room and several on the phone,” Julian Roup of Bonham told Hindustan Times. finally the hammer went down for £1.7 million.” The auction house did not reveal the identity of the buyer.

An antique collector said the dagger is not only rare, but also “exquisitely beautiful”. It dates back to 1629-30. Shah

“There was complete silence in the room when it was bid for £1 million and then clapping and cheering broke out when Jahan’s name is engraved in gold on a plaque at the bottom of the hilt. It is only the second known personal dagger of the Mughal emperor. The other one is with a private collector.

The inscriptions on the blade include Shah Jahan’s official titles, its date and place of manufacture, and the honorific parasol (an ancient pan-Asian symbol of divinity of royalty).

It was possibly handed over to the emperor on his 39th birthday, experts said.

The dagger is from the collection of the late Jacques Desenfans, a Lyon-based Belgian textile magnate.

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