Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saber (Shamshir) with Scabbard

hilt and scabbard, dated 1819; blade, 18th century
probably Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
probably Indian; hilt and scabbard, Indian, probably Lucknow
Steel, silver, enamel, ivory, gold, glass
L. with scabbard 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm); L. without scabbard 36 1/4 in. (92.2 cm); L. of blade 31 1/8 in. (79.1 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 6 oz. (1521 g); Wt. of scabbard 3 lb. 3 oz. (1435 g)
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
36.25.1302a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 380
The grip bears a gold plaque indicating that this saber was presented in 1819 to Captain Hugh Caldwell of the Bengal Army by his commander. The saber is mounted in engraved and enameled silver typical of Lucknow, where a distinctive school of enameled metalwork flourished starting in the late eighteenth century. The colorful zoomorphic decoration includes a pommel and tips of the guard formed as rams’ heads.
Inscription: On grip, inside the gold medallion:

"From the Marquis of Hastings to Captain H. Caldwell, 1849.

On blade:

Inscription is in Arabic but it is too worn to be read and translated.
[William Ockelford Oldman, London, before 1935; sold to Stone]; George Cameron Stone, New York (by 1934–d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor from the Islamic World," February 10, 2016–January 2, 2017.

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