Luristan bronze dagger with crescent decoration

Object number
Object: Luristan bronze dagger with crescent decoration

Material: Bronze.

Period: 1100 BC to 900 BC.
Iron Age I.

Description:    Luristan bronze dagger. Round handle with plate shaped pommel. Long, slim blade, tapering to the front. A decorative crescent shape is on both sides between the grip and the blade.

Background: Daggers were the standard weapons of Luristan warriors. The different types of daggers were named by archaeologists according to their type of handle. For the raised rim daggers, the vertical edge around the grip is the decisive feature.
Initially, riveted blades were used for daggers in Luristan. The 14th century BC saw daggers with handle which were made from a single piece of bronze. The edge surrounding the handle contained an insert, often consisting of bone, wood or metal. The raised rim daggers were otherwise simply designed and generally did not have elaborate decorations, as are known from axe heads of the same period. In the 10th century BC the full bronze daggers were replaced by iron weapons.

Dimensions: 34.0cm long.

Condition: Very good condition. Including the pommel. The bronze body is complete and intact apart from minor chips. The cutting edge was polished by a previous owner in modern times to be a bit closer to the original appearance.

Provenance: Acquired by us in 2022 on the German art market. Previously in the Israeli family collection of art dealer Gideon Sasson. Incorporated into the collection in 1925. Exported in 2022 under Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) permit no. 50526.

References: Cf. G. Zahlhaas, Luristan, Antike Bronzen aus dem Iran, page 33, cat. 43.
Cf. M. J. Sanchez Beltran, Catalogo de los bronces de Luristan en el museo arqueologico nacional, plate III, nos. 7 and 10.

Literature: St John Simpson and Susan La Niece, New light on old swords from Iran. The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, Volume 4 (2010).
Moorey, Ancient Bronzes from Luristan (BM, 1974), pages 23f.
Bonnet, Die Waffen der Völker des Alten Orients, pages 42ff.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.