Saber

Date: 1522–66

Geography: probably Istanbul

Culture: Turkish, probably Istanbul

Medium: Steel, gold, fish skin, wood

Dimensions: L. 37 7/8 in. (96.2 cm); L. of blade 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm); W. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 5 oz. (1049 g)

Classification: Swords

Credit Line: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935

Accession Number: 36.25.1297

Description

This saber is fitted with one of the finest and best-preserved Islamic blades of the sixteenth century. Its gold-inlaid decoration consists of Qur'anic inscriptions that stress the sovereignty of God and the wisdom and power of his servant Solomon. These appear to be
clever allusions to the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The equally opulent cross guard is chiseled in relief and damascened in gold, and was formerly inlaid with gems. The grip is a later replacement.

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