GRAND VIZIER SHAMSHIR

£37,000

Origin: Ottoman Turkey

Date: 18th century – 19th century

Materials: Watered steel, horn and silver

Length: 99cm without scabbard (89cm blade/11cm hilt). 102cm including scabbard.

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Description

A rare and complete example of a Grand Vizier Ottoman Shamshir.

Staying with traditional design, this example features a horn hilt. The horn has been ground down, smoothed and then polished to leave an excellent finish and fine surface texture. The grip is in the ‘pistol’ style with a silver plated cross guard. The finish is simple, yet provides a sought after elegance. At the top of the hilt, there is an original tassel. These tassels were often exhibited solely on the swords of generals or those that belonged to people of status. For example, see ‘Napoleon in Egypt, c. 1863 – Princeton University Art Museum’. You can clearly see the Ottoman Shamshir, the hilt with a tassel and the scabbard with two large mounts. This example we have for sale could there have belonged to, what was known in the Islamic world, as a Grand Vizier. This term was used for the head of government in the Islamic world. These officials were above the typical advisors to the state and were often given complete autonomy, as they possessed superiority and grandeur. For another example of an Ottoman Shamshir with a tassel, see the Met Museum, accession number 36.25.1304a,b. The Ottoman Shamshir also became popular in the Mughal courts in India. In a folio of the Akhbarnama, there is a painting of ‘Akbar Hunting’ (16th century) at the Met Museum, accession number 11.39.2. In the painting, Akbar can be viewed hunting with an Ottoman Shamshir.

The fine blade is watered steel, of Persian origin. At the midpoint, the blade sharply curves to provide it with the ‘shamshir’ style. The edge is cutting sharp and the steel is forged with superior quality. The active watered pattern is visible and is uniform for the entire length of the blade.

The sheath has four silver mounts; one large one at each end, and two smaller ones at the centre. The two at the centre were often used to attach the carrying sash. The silver mount at the top seamlessly blends with the matching silver cross guard to provide a uniform design. Underneath the leather sheath, lies a bare wooden base. The sheath is in immaculate condition and adds tremendous value to this overall fine sword.

Overall, a fine Ottoman Shamshir previously belonging to a Grand Vizier. Complete with its original tassel and mounted sheath. A real collectors item for those interested in a luxury Ottoman Shamshir.

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Financing is available on request via Art Money.


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