Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Scimitar with Scabbard

late 16th–17th century
Hilt and scabbard, Turkish; Blade, Iranian
Steel, copper alloy (brass), silver, wood, gold, jade, turquoise, copper
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
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
This is a typical Ottoman presentation saber of the seventeenth century. Many similar weapons, as well as shields and complete horse trappings similiarly mounted in silver-gilt and set with jade plaques and turquoise, were taken as booty after the unsuccessful Turkish seige of Vienna in 1683.
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," translation by M. Keene, Islamic Department, May 1978 and S. Melikian, (refs.).
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.
Valencia de Don Juan, Conde de, El conde Valencia de Don Juan, Juan Bautista Crooke y Navarrot 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.

Förteckning Över Greve Kellers Samling Av Orientaliska Och Europeiska Vapen ... Försäljes Genom .... Stockholm: Bukowskis Auktioner AB, March 5, 1920. Lot 195.

Bukowskis Auktioner AB. Oljemȧlningar, möbler, keramik, guld och bijouterier, silver, textilier, skulptur, tenn och diverse, akvareller, etsiningar, gravyrer, vapen.. Stockholm: Bukowskis Auktioner AB, 1937. Lot 1063.

Miller, Yuri. "Jade in Turkish applied art of the Seventeenth century." Bulletin of the State Hermitage Museum XXXV (1972). pp. 66-69, 91.

Christie's, London. Fine Antique Arms: The Properties of the Hon. Mrs. A. Bromley-Martin, the Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and from Various Sources. Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd., London: Christie's, London, October 13, 1975. lot 14, ill. on pl. 3.

Melikian, Souren. "The Art Market: The Confusion at Islamic Auctions." The International Herald Tribune (1978). p. 7.

Sotheby's, London. 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's, London, 04/03/1978. p. 34, no. 132, pl XXIII, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Helmut Nickel. MMA 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. 158-160, 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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