The Emerald Dagger In Topkapi Palace Museum Istanbul – Chapter 2,
The Ottoman Sultan Mahmud the First also sent a delegation, led by Kesriyeli Ahmed Pasha, with gifts to Nadir Shah, which set out on May 11, 1747. Among the gifts which the Sultan sent to Nadir Shah was a dagger whose hilt and sheath were ornamented with precious stones. This dagger had been made by Istanbul’s master Jewel-smiths under the direction of the treasurer, the precious stones being provided from the Treasury. The two delegations met near Baghdad, showed their gifts to each other with a special ceremony, and then went on their ways, the Iranians to Baghdad and the Turkish delegation to Hamedan. When the Turkish delegation arrived at the Iranian border the news came that Nadir Shah had been killed in his headquarters in Fechabad. Nothing could be done. The leader of the delegation Ahmed Pasha decided to turn back in order to save the treasures from being plundered. After a thousand and one difficulties they, at last, arrived back at the Ottoman border without any of the gifts having been lost or damaged. Upon arriving in Istanbul they were handed over to the Palace. Meanwhile, the Iranian delegation had arrived in Baghdad. They requested asylum from the Ottoman state and were accepted. All the gifts which they carried were considered to be Ottoman property and were handed over to the Treasury. The Emerald Dagger in Topkapi Palace Treasury today, which was shown in the film ‘Topkapi’, is one of the gifts which were sent to Nadir Shah. The Dagger is 35 cm. in length, and has three huge emeralds as big as pigeons’ eggs on one side of the hill, ‘which is how it came to be known as the Emerald Dagger. The emeralds are encircled by diamonds and at the end of the hilt is an eight sided Emerald lid, which when opened reveals a small watch. The rest of the hilt is ornamented with enameling and diamonds. The sheath is as beautiful, being decorated with enameled flowers, and brilliant diamonds. At the tip of the slightly twisted sheath is a huge emerald. There are other dangers in Topkapi Palace Treasury of as great value and beauty as the Emerald Dagger. Among these is the crystal handled dagger of Yavuz Sultan Selim, and another ‘whose owner is unknown, whose hilt is made of a single piece of emerald with a gold sheath decorated with diamonds. Each one is a priceless masterpiece of Turkish jewel smithery. However, none has ‘won the game of the Emerald Dagger which was the subject of the film. Every day thousands of visitors come to Topkapi Palace. They queue up in front of the glass case in the second room of the Treasury which houses the Emerald Dagger. They are determined not to miss seeing it. In the market places and shops, copies of the Dagger are there for those who want them, as souvenirs of the beautiful city of Istanbul.