This type of weapon, with a double-curved blade and a bifurcated pommel, is known as a yatagan. It was commonly used in Anatolia and the Balkans during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the sultan's elite corps, or Janissaries, and was carried in the waistband. This piece, with a blade elaborately decorated in gold and corals set into the handle, was probably made for presentation.
Inscription: Inscribed with the date 1238 (A.D. 1822), the name of the maker ("Made by Abdullah"), six Turkish verses of good will towards the owner, and the names of two owners (Ismael Gazi and Abdul Kadar).
[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).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Art of Imperial Turkey and its European Echoes," November 15, 1973–March 3, 1974.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield," August 29, 2016–February 13, 2017.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The George C. Stone Bequest: Turkish, Balkan, Caucasian, and North African Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 3 (March 1937). p. 55, fig. 1.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Helmut Nickel. "The Ottoman Empire." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 26, no. 5 (1968). p. 221, fig. 43, ill.