Art/ Collection/ Art Object


ca. 1450–1500
Steel, gold, wood
H. 28 1/2 (72.3 cm); H. of axhead 10 1/4 in. (26.0 cm); H. of handle 27 in. (68.6 cm); W. of blade 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 15 oz. (1341 g)
Shafted Weapons
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bashford Dean Bequest, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379
The Mamluk sultans and emirs employed a special corps of ax-bearers, probably in imitation of the Varangian (Viking) guard of the emperors of Byzantium. The cup decorating the socket of this ax is the insignia of a Mamluk emir and indicates that he held the important ceremonial office of cupbearer to the sultan.
Ex. coll.: Alan Zasky.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Islamic Art. "Bright Side of Battle," January 17–September 1, 1985.

Dean, Bashford. Notes on Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. p. 42, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 50, 64, ill.

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