Inspired by Jens' RECENT POST
I am presenting a topic on so called zoomorphic daggers - Indian daggers with animal-headed hilts. I am talking about all-metal daggers with animal pommels (mostly lion and ram heads) with silver or gold coftgari and curved blades of 'tiger eye' faux damasc pattern. There are plenty of modern 'Mughal revival' daggers, some look like fantasy like the short swords with fat handles inlaid in bone that look nothing like anything original. The modern zoomorphic daggers are mostly of the same design and form, varying in size and style of coftgari. Most likely inspired by the original Mughal zoomorphic daggers of 17th Century Mughal India, and notably the depiction of lion that signified the status of power and symbol of royalty. There are many original Mughal examples with carved ivory and stone (jade) animal handles but I have not seen many all-steel Mughal zoomorphic handles. Here is one of such original Mughal all-steel daggers with lion-headed hilt, gold coftgari and wootz blade. It'd be interesting to see other real Mughal era all-steel zoomorphic daggers.
Also, to make things interesting: below is Mughal gold-coftgaried chape. The coftgari looks similar to the dagger handle, but has 3 distinct elements in its design. Can anyone name them?