Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saber (Talwar) with Scabbard

blade, dated A.H. 835/ A.D. 1673; hilt, 19th century
Steel, silver, diamonds enamel, leather
L. 36 5/8 in. (93 cm); L. of blade 31 1/2 in. (80.3 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 11 oz. (1220 g); Wt. of scabbard 12 oz. (348 g)
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
36.25.1591a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379
The blade, of European manufacture around 1600, was inlaid later in gold. Along the back edge, there is an inscription in Arabic and Persian, and on the outer side, there is a parasol. The inscription mentions the name of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1717) and the sixteenth year of his reign, corresponding to 1673.
The parasol is an ancient symbol of the dome of heaven and was long used in the Middle East and India as a symbol of royal authority. A parasol mark on a blade thus signifies royal provenance and implies that the weapon belonged to a divinely appointed and protected monarch, in this case Emperor Aurangzeb.
Inscription: The Arabic inscription:

النصر وافتتاح من الله

"Victory and Opening from Allah"

The Persian inscription:

... شاه أورنجزيب نجل شاه جهان، بادشاه ... العالم ...

"... Shah Aurangzeb son of Shah Jahan, Padshah ... alam ..."
[William Ockelford Oldman, London, before November 18, 1935; sold to Stone]; George Cameron Stone, New York (until d. November 18, 1935; his bequest to MMA).
Stone, George Cameron. A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Together with Some Closely Related Subjects. Portland, Maine, 1934. p. 602, fig. 770, no. 2.

Mohamed, Bashir. L'art Des Chevaliers En Pays D'islam: Collection De La Furusiyya Art Foundation. Milan: Skira, 2007. p. 100, n. 64 (inscribed with same name).

Mohamed, Bashir. The Arts of the Muslim Knight: The Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection. Milan: Skira, 2008. p. 100, n. 64 (inscribed with same name).

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. 184-186, no. 70.

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