In the Caucasus this type of dagger (Kindjal) was an inseparable companion of Caucasian men and was used as a weapon, cork screw, paper cutter, as well as a dance accessory. Nineteenth-century photographs of Caucasian men in native dress frequently include such daggers, which are attached to their belts in a diagonal manner. The handle and sheath of this fine example have been decorated in niello, a black substance containing silver, copper, lead, and sulphur, that is a striking contrast to the silver ground.
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Dagger (Kindjal) with Sheath. Caucasian, possibly northern Dagestan, ca. 1840–50 (81.1.599a, b) Photo: Stephen Bluto