• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 324

    A JEWELLED SILVER-GILT DAGGER

    OTTOMAN EGYPT AND FRANCE, 18TH CENTURY AND LATER

    Price Realised  

    A JEWELLED SILVER-GILT DAGGER
    OTTOMAN EGYPT AND FRANCE, 18TH CENTURY AND LATER
    With fine 18th century Persian watered steel tapering blade, the forte with a trilobe issuing a slightly raised ridge, the Egyptian silver sheath and hilt with incised fish-scale decoration, the sheath inscribed with ma sha' Allah and tawakkaltu 'ala Allah around the locket and signed Khaylil b... below, the dagger decorated with green, blue, pink and red stone insets on one side added in the first half 19th century, one of them partly concealing the signature, the gilding possibly contemporary with the insets, blade with minor corrosion, gilding slightly rubbed, in elegant gilt and stamped leather fitted case

    19½in. (49.5cm.) long


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    This gilt and jewelled dagger was given by King Louis-Philippe I of France to William Charles Macready (1793-1873), a prominent Victorian actor. His success as an actor in England led him to tour in the United States, notably to the Astor Place Theatre in New York, and in France where he acted in a production of Hamlet for the King of France in Les Tuileries castle on January 16, 1845. He mentions in his diary that "at the end of the play, one of the King's suite [...] presented me with a long packet [which contained] a poniard" (William Toynbee, Diaries of William Charles Macready, London, 1912, vol.II, p.284). The dagger, mentioned in one of Charles Dickens' letter to Macready's wife, was used by him whilst playing Macbeth (From The Letters of Charles Dickens).

    From William Charles Macready to his daughter, Cecelia Benvenuta,
    Thence by descent to the present owner

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.