About this object

A ceremonial knife. Single edge iron blade with a jade handle, the handle has been repaired although a crack remains near the base. The sheath is made of a royal blue cloisonné decorated with gilt foliage and 'c' scrolls. There is a copper gilt band supporting a bracket and loop, the bracket holds a small plant-like pendant.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Weapon; Personal Object
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Eastern Asia: China
  • Date made
    18th Century
  • Materials
    Enamel; Iron; Copper; Metal Gilt; Jade
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Gyantse
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    335 mm x 23 mm x 20 mm; 13 3/16 in x 7/8 in x 13/16 in
  • Note
    List of Curios No A40: Knife with jade handle in blue cloisonné sheath. Given me by Doring Kusho in September 1915, who particularly asks me not to send it to the tosha khana, saying that it is an old and good piece. Curator's note: Given to Bell during his annual inspection tour of southern Tibet. The toshakhana or treasury was the British Indian government's system of noting and valuing all gifts that were given to colonial officers. Any gifts presented to men like Bell had to be sent for valuation to three separate auction houses, a price would then be set and if no higher ranking officer wished to purchase the item, the original receiver of the gift could buy it back at the agreed price. Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Charles Alfred Bell ( Collector); Doring ( gifted by)

Explore related


  • List of Curios

    Bell, Charles Alfred

    Author: Bell, Charles Alfred
    Description: A typed object catalogue from Bell's handwritten notes on a wide variety of objects from his personal collection. This information often contains, the date he obtained an object, its provenance (including where and who he acquired from) and the person responsible for giving him the information. The process of writing the inventory began in December 1912 and continued until the late 1930s.

  • Tibet: Catalogue of Exhibits

    Tankard, Elaine

    Author: Tankard, Elaine
    Publisher: Liverpool Public Museums
    Date: 1953-03
    Description: Introductory essay and catalogue entries, in themes, for the 1953 exhibition; 'Tibet', held at the Walker Art Gallery.

Object view = Humanities
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