Saber

Date: 1522–26

Geography: probably Istanbul

Culture: Turkish, probably Istanbul

Medium: Steel, gold, wood, fishskin, pigment

Dimensions: L. 37 7/8 in. (96.2 cm); L. of blade 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm); L. of quillons 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

The blade is chiseled in relief with Qur'anic verses, the surrounding areas inlaid with gold. The inscriptions refer to victory in the Holy War and to the magical powers of the biblical King Solomon (Süleyman). It seems likely that this unique blade was made for the Ottoman sultan Süleyman I (r. 1520–66). The guard is chiseled with gold-damascened flowers and was formerly inlaid with rubies. The grip, covered with fishskin dyed green, is a later replacement.

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