Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Saber

Date:
hilt, 19th century; blade, 18th–19th century
Culture:
hilt, Turkish; blade, Iranian with Turkish decoration
Medium:
Steel, gold, horn (rhinoceros)
Dimensions:
L. 37 in. (94 cm); L. of blade 36 5/8 in. (93.1 cm) W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); Wt. 1 lb. 11 oz. (776 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
36.25.1632
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379
The fine blade of crucible ("watered") steel is typically Iranian but was decorated at a later date by a Turkish craftsman. The decoration includes verses from the "Burda," a mystical poem by the thirteenth-century author al-Bu Siri.
Inscription: Along the blade:

إلا أن الرياح تهب من اتجاه كاظمة، ومضة البرق في الظلام من ادريس ط السد

Did the wind blow from the direction of Kāzima, and the lightening flash in the darkness from Idriss-i dam?

لي الحظ الجيد يأتي من العدم بل من الله، العلي، وقوية

My good luck comes from nowhere but from God, the Highest, the Powerful.

(A verse from the "Burda", a poem by

(a verse from the "Burda," a poem by Abū 'Abdallāh Muhammad ibn Sa'īd ul-Būsīrī Ash Shadhili (known as al-Būsīrī), b. 1211-1294.
George Cameron Stone, New York (until d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
Houston. Houston Museum of Natural Science. "The Heritage of Islam," March 10–May 30, 1982.

San Francisco. California Academy of Sciences. "The Heritage of Islam," July 2, 1982–January 2, 1983.

Pittsburgh. Carnegie Institute. "The Heritage of Islam," February 26–April 24, 1983.

Washington, D.C. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. "The Heritage of Islam," June 1–September 5, 1983.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16, no. 9 (May 1958). pp. 248- 251.

Wadsworth, Jeffrey, and Oleg D. Sherby. "On the Bulat: Damascus Steels." Bulletin of the Metals Museum 4 (1979). fig. 3 (left).

Alexander, David G. "European Swords in the Collections of Istanbul." Waffen- Und Kostümkunde: Zeitschrift Der Gesellschaft Für Historische Waffen Und Kostümkunde 27 (1985). pp, 30, 33, fig. 4.

Wadsworth, Jeffrey, and Oleg D. Sherby. "Damascus Steels." Scientific American 252 (1985). p. 113.

Grancsay, Stephen V., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V. Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. p. 454, fig. 109.14 (third from the top).

Alexander, David, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Will Kwiatkowski. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. pp. 168-169, cat. no. 63.



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