Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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khanjar (knife with sheath on belt)
  • Oman or Yemen
  • khanjar (knife with sheath on belt), late 1800s–1950
  • Where object was made: Oman, Yemen, or East Africa
  • iron, metal, wood, leather, wool?, wire, string, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width: a) 31 x 7 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 12 3/16 x 2 3/4 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 93 x 20 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 36 5/8 x 7 7/8 in
  • Gift of Dr. Curt Von Wedel
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0405.a,b

This knife (2007.0405.a) has a curved blade with a ridge down the middle. The wooden handle is hourglass-shaped, with a narrow grip. It is decorated with a silver-colored metal that mirrors the shape of the handle, and a band of the same silver metal decorated with flowers and leaves, with a band of small circles above and below. It has a scalloped edge toward the handle. The decoration on this band is only on the front, except for one band of circles.

The sheath (2007.0405.b) is attached to a belt. The sheath appears to be leather with a very elaborately decorated front side. The open end of the sheath is wrapped with a band of silver-colored metal, with a thick band of leafy decoration, and small circles above and below. As on the knife, only one band of circles continues on the back. The tip of the sheath is also covered with silver-colored metal decorated, on the front only, with very small leafy vines and small dots. The front surface of the sheath is decorated with flattened strips of silver-colored metal and wire sewn into curlicue designs in two panels, one at the curve of the sheath, the other near the point. The space between the curve of the sheath and the metal band at the open end is filled with a leather strap folded over itself a number of times, with metal loops on either side and two metal loops on the front. The front metal loops are kept in place with twisted silver wire looping through the rings and behind the rings on the end of the leather strap (which is decorated with flattened metal strips).

The sheath is attached to the belt by the loops on the ends of the leather strap. The belt appears to be leather backed with wool cloth. The entire exterior surface is decorated with flattened silver metal strips and wire sewn to the leather, in blocks of diamonds, separated by vertical lines. The edges, as well as the edges on the sheath, have a multi-strand wire stitch covering them. A narrow black strip of leather with holes attaches at one end of the belt with a small silver colored rosette. The buckle at the other end is "D" shaped with curlicues holding the prong.