This sword belongs to a distinctive group of Ottoman parade weapons mounted with gilded silver, studded with turquoise, and set with jeweled nephrite plaques. The group includes swords, shields, quivers, saddles, and related equestrian equipment. These luxurious and colorful pieces were frequently given as diplomatic presents by the Ottoman court from the late sixteenth through the seventeenth century, many of them still preserved in European collections. The saber is now fitted with a later Iranian blade of crucible (“watered”) steel inlaid in gold with the pious motto “I trust in God.”
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Title:Scimitar with Scabbard
Date:late 16th–17th century
Culture:Hilt and scabbard, Turkish; Blade, Iranian
Dimensions:H. with scabbard 42 1/16 in. (106.8 cm); H. without scabbard 40 1/8 in. (101.9 cm); H. of blade 35 in. (88.9 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 4 oz. (1928 g); Wt. of scabbard 2 lb. (906 g)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund and Pfeiffer Fund, 1978
Accession Number:1978.145a, b
Inscription: Inscribed on the obverse of the blade, near the hilt, in arabic within a gold cartouche: "I trust in God," or "I have entrusted myself to God."
Ex coll.: Prince Alexej Ivanovij Sachovskoj, through inheritance to his son-in law Theodro Keller and to his son Alexander Keller. See: Keller sale, Bukowskis, Stockholm 1920. Pl. XIII no. 185.
Crooke y Navarrot, Juan Bautista Conde de Valencia de Don Juan, and Real Armería. Catálogo Histórico-Descriptivo de la Real Armería de Madrid. Madrid: Fototipias de Hauser y Menet, 1898. p. 372, nos. M.25–M.26.
H. Bukowskis. Förteckning över Greve Kellers samling av orientaliska och europeiska vapen. Stockholm: H. Bukowskis, March 5, 1920. no. 195.
H. Bukowskis. Oljemålningar, möbler, keramik, europeisk och orientalisk, glas, silver, guld och bijouterier, textilier, tenn, akvareller, etsningar, gravyrer, vapen. Stockholm: H. Bukowskis, December 13, 1937. no. 1063.
Miller, Yuri. "Jade in Turkish Applied Art of the Seventeenth century." Bulletin of the State Hermitage Museum pp. 66–69, 91 (jade-studded Turkish arms discussed).
Christie, Manson & Woods. Fine Antique Arms: The Properties of the Hon. Mrs. A. Bromley-Martin, the Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and from Various Sources. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, October 13, 1975. no. 14, pl. 3.
Melikian, Souren. "The Art Market: The Confusion at Islamic Auctions." The International Herald Tribune p. 7.
Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co. Catalogue of Islamic Arms and Armour, Glass, Textiles, Ceramics, Woodwork and Metalwork, Qajar Enamels, Moghul Jades, Indian, Tibetan, Nepalese and South-East Asian Art. London: Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., 04/03/1978. p. 34, no. 132, pl. XXIII.
Nickel, Helmut, and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "Arms and Armor." Notable Acquisitions 1975–1979 (1979), pp. 27–28, ill.
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. 158–60, no. 59, ill.
Rivkin, Kirill, and Brian Isaac. A Study of the Eastern Sword. Mankato, U.S.: Dr. Kirill Rivkin, 2017. pp. 175–76, fig. 94.
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