of domed circular form with four applied bosses with gold overlaid decoration at the outer ring, comprising wholly of cusped cartouches filled with animal motifs and inscriptions, the textile-padded interior with four suspension loops.
The slightly curved watered-steel blade with central ridge and double grooves, gold-overlaid palmette and cartouche at forte, the jade hilt with scroll quillons and carved stylised lotus leaf, the pommel in the form of a lion’s head with gold inlay set with red spinels, the velvet-covered wood scabbard with carved jade chape and lock.
The straight steel dagger with central ridge embossed at the forte in the form of a palmette, the waisted rock crystal hilt with carved flutes and leaf design carved into the pommel.
A single-edged tapering watered-steel blade with pistol-grip hilt decorated with chevron plaques of mother-of-pearl secured with brass pins.
NOTE: A seventeenth-century dagger of similar form and decoration is in the Musée Guimet, Paris, formerly in the Krishna Riboud Collection, illustrated in Bordeaux 1999, p.106, no.33. Both possess the distinctive chevron plaques of mother-of-pearl. The Bordeaux example is attributed to Gujarat.
The slightly curved steel blade with faint double groove, the light-green jade hilt with a mulberry form pommel, carved with stylised floral motif and six gold set rubies at forte.
The curved double-edged steel blade with central ridge, the hilt of pale green stone carved at the forte with scroll quillons and lotus flower, the pommel rendered in the form of a horse’s head.
The slightly curved double-edged watered steel blade with central ridge, engraved floral motif at the forte, the jade pistol-grip of dark green stone carved at the forte with scroll quillons and lotus flower, the rounded pommel carved with stylised floral motif.
The curved double-edged watered-steel blade chiselled with central ridge and yalis flanking the forte, curved steel knuckle guard terminating in a dragon’s head, ivory hilt in four parts secured with gold rosette pins terminating in a bifurcated pommel, the silver scabbard engraved with designs of scrolling vegetation, birds and stylised flowers, with bud finial.
The steel blade fullered with swollen tip, hilt with double grip and decorated throughout with gold overlaid inscriptions and floral motifs, the scabbard with chape decorated ensuite.
The slightly curved watered-steel blade with chevron design and flat back edge, the pommel carved in the form of a horse’s head with stylised foliage gold overlay, the velvet-covered wood scabbard with gold overlay chape.
The slightly curved double-edged watered-steel blade with a faint central ridge, gold overlay at the forte with floral motifs, ivory hilt with floral carvings at the forte, pommel set with turquoise stone and in the form of a horse’s head, with eyes set with stones inlaid with gold.
The curved tapering steel blade with central ridge, the hilt with scroll quillons and pommel rendered in the form of a horse’s head with mane to one side and bridle, chiselled and decorated with an all over design of gold scrolling vine issuing flowerheads and split-palmettes against a silver ground; the slightly curved steel blade with flat back edge, short cross quillons and hilt in characteristic talwar form wholly inlaid in gold and silver with chevron pattern and vegetal motifs, the fabric covered wood scabbard.
The double-edged tapering steel blade with a chevron watered pattern, the hilt with scroll quillons and rounded pommel rendered in the form of a peacock’s head, the eyes set with spinnels encircled by a radial lotus design, the grip chiselled and gilded with a lattice of quatrefoils.
The watered-steel blade curved at the tip, with central ridge and gold and silver overlay inscriptions in cartouches split between blade ridge, the steel hilt with similar gold and silver overlay inscriptions in lobed cartouches flanked by smaller cartouches with floral motifs.
The curved watered-steel blade with central ridge, double-edged towards the swelled tip, decorated at the forte with gold-overlaid naturalistic flowers with vase motif, the flat back edge with stylised palmette and two lobed cartouches containing inscriptions, ivory hilt in two sections, leather-covered wood scabbard with applied silver lock and chape, carved throughout with rosettes, foliate and fishscale designs with bud form terminal.
inscriptions on the back of the blade to the forte:
qabzah-ye khanjar jahangir ast garcheh yak-mosht ostokhan bashad
‘The hilt of [this] dagger conquers the world even though it is [made of] a handful of bones.’
The tapered watered-steel blade with chiselled and gold-overlaid inscriptions, the marine ivory hilt with a cuff of turquoise glass insets, the silver-gilt scabbard chased with foliate motifs and set with turquoise.
Dated ‘In the year 1210 (AD 1795-6)’
The inscriptions include Qur’an, surah al-Saff (LXI), parts of 13; surah Hud (XI), parts of 88; surah Al ‘Imran (III) parts of 126 and invocations to God.
The curved steel blade with inscription in gold overlay at forte, the cross quillons with punched ground silver and inscriptions and twisted metal band connecting to ivory hilt with engraved silver pommel comprising floral motifs, patterned-leather covered wooden scabbard with ensuite punched ground silver chape and suspension mounts with rings.
The blade of crescent form with carved animal motif, and gold overlay vegetal design, inscription within lobed cartouche and studded with turquoise stones, with elongated dragon finials and spike, pattern-welded faceted steel haft incised at base and blade.
Qur’an, surah al-Fath (XLVIII),1 and surah al-Saff (LXI), parts of 13.
The blade of characteristic form with silver overlay abstract motif, the haft with ensuite engraved silver panels.
The curved finely watered-steel blade with three circular impressions framing inscriptions in cartouches on both sides of the blade, the later addition of the silver enamelled quillons in form of bird heads set with rubies and engraved with animal scenes, the ivory hilt with restored pommel, fabric covered wooden scabbard with openwork chape comprising stylised floral motif.
Signed as: ‘Work of His (God’s) servant Sajjad ibn Haji’
The slightly curved steel blade swelling somewhat at the tip with groove at flat edge, the hooked silver pommel with short quillons and knuckle chain, the scabbard with ornate openwork silver comprising six rosette medallions, two suspension rings and thread strap.
The curved and finely watered-steel blade with gold-overlaid inscriptions in lobed cartouches eitherside of blade, the hilt quillons and pommel decorated throughout with dense gold-overlaid floral motifs, the mother-of-pearl hilt comprising four gold-set red gemstones, the velvet-covered wooden scabbard with ensuite suspension mounts and chape.
The inscription (spurious) reads: ‘Regnal year 30 of Shah Aurangzeb (‘Alamgir’) and an Arabic saying.
The slender and slightly curved blade of watered-steel with gold inlaid inscriptions in lobed cartouches and a talismanic square at the forte, the lightgreenjade hilt with rounded pommel carved with stylised floral motifs and copper quillons engraved with fine floral pattern, the cloth-covered wood scabbard with engraved copper ensuite chape and lock, with one suspension loop.
NOTE: This and the following sword are from a rare group of jade-hilted swords, only a few recorded examples exist including an early seventeenth-century talwar from a private Danish collection published in Copenhagen 1982, p.190 no.154 and an early eighteenth-century jewelled and gold inlaid jade-hilted sword that also by repute comes from the Hyderabad Treasury, (illustrated in Ricketts and Missillier 1988, p.102, no.167). The form of the hilt with the typical rounded pommel and carved floral decoration is more commonly associated with contemporary jade-hilted daggers. The only other recorded sword with a jade pistol-hilt is the sword presented to General Claude Martin in 1786 by the Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, now in the Heeramaneck Collection.
The slender and curved blade of watered-steel, the dark-green jade hilt with rounded pommel carved with stylised lotus flowers and copper quillons engraved with fine floral pattern, the cloth-covered wood scabbard with engraved copper ensuite chape, lock and suspension bracket.
The slightly curved steel blade with raised edge and fullers struck at forte with three talismanic dots on either side, the gilded-silver hilt with
characteristic broad pommel and hemispherical quillon terminals, wholly embellished in green and blue enamel and set with thirty-three gems
including rubies and white sapphires, devanagari inscription to flat edge of blade at forte, velvet-covered wood scabbard with later addition of gilt braid.
The slightly curved finely-watered steel blade with jade hilt of light-green colour carved exquisitely in the form of budding lotus flower with a narrow grip, disc pommel and broad basket guard, the cloth-covered wood scabbard with ensuite gold repoussé chape and lock decorated with elephant, camel and deers in procession, scale-patterning and palmette arcades.
This talwar is from a small group of jade-hilted swords. This form of hilt executed in jade is rare and to the best of our knowledge unique. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Indian craftsmen began to carve hilts with sculpted floral forms. Under Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58) the quality of jade carving attained extraordinary heights; works of this period, many of them carved from white nephrite, are characterised by the organic floral and vegetal decoration of the late Jahangir period, applied with even greater elegance and technical perfection. A similar design of lotus leaf carving contemporary to this hilt can be found on the covered potiche in the British Museum. The neck is delicately decorated with overlapping lotus petals carved in relief (see The Indian Heritage: Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, V & A, 1982, p.120, no. 360). The finely watered-steel blade demonstrates an extremely complex Damascus pattern including wavy and motley lines, random circular distortions as well as multiple rudimentary vertical orientations suggestive of the Kirk Narduban configuration.
The wavy-edge layered steel blade, inscription inlaid with silver at assymetric forte, the wooden hilt in the form of an abstract bird carving, the silver scabbard with engraved floral motif and wooden scabbard mouthpiece; the slender double-edged steel blade with jagged assymetric forte, the faceted ivory hilt, engraved silver scabbard with inscriptions and floral forms; the slender double-edged steel blade with jagged assymetric forte and inscriptions on both sides of blade, the intricately carved wooden hilt with openwork, in the shape of a stylised flower.
1) On one side: The Bismalah. On the other side: Undeciphered. Not Arabic, Persian or Turkish.
2) The shahada followed by a quotation, which appears 3 times in the Qur’an. (Qur’an, surah Al-’Imran (III), parts of 185; surah al-Anbiya (XXI), parts of 35 and surah al-’Ankabut (XXIX), parts of 57.
An undeciphered inscription and ‘Raj Fatima 178 (?) (A.D.1861-2)’ ‘Raj Fatima’ is also at the end of the scabbard.
3) Undeciphered inscription with date as: ‘Year 1155 (A.D.1742-3). The Malay kris became a weapon that above all was an insignium of rank rather than a practical weapon, and varied greatly in its embellishment. One particular form of kris was used as an executioner’s weapon. The victim would traditionally be dispatched by a single downward thrust from the left collar bone, piercing the heart. This was thought a more noble death than other possible methods, since little or no blood was shed.
The double-edged wavy steel blade with central groove and gilt abstract illustrations, the elaborate forte with engraved silver bands and asymmetric jagged edge, crosswork silver at the hilt with carved wooden pommel; the double-edged wavy steel blade with central groove and gilt abstract illustrations, the asymmetric jagged edge, metal thread bands alternating with gold gilt bands across the hilt terminating in a conceptual bird pommel carved of ivory, with wooden scabbard.
The forward curved steel blade with flat back edge, gold gilt leaf motif at forte with inscription cartouche on one side of blade, the gilt copper hilt with fluted pommel, the fabric covered wooden scabbard with chased engravings on gilt copper with ensuite chape and lock and bud finial.
Owner’s name as: ‘al-Hajj Sulayman Agha’
The double-edged double-groove watered-steel blade with stamped cartouches at the forte, the hilt of light-green jade set with six gold-mounted red gems, leather-covered wood scabbard with twisted metal along the length.
the tapered steel blade with flat back edge, with point design in form of pyramid on either side of blade, the silver hilt with inscription at the forte, silver scabbard with intricate oval rose design and openwork bud finial.
Owner’s name as: ‘The owner Adham Afandi’ spelt in Turkish as: ‘Edhem Efendi’
The straight steel blade with central ridge, wholly decorated with gold gilt inscriptions and varied motifs, the waisted dark-green jade hilt with carved flutes, the pommel embellished with openwork silver set with gemstones, the engraved silver scabbard adorned with cabochon and faceted gemstones to one side of the scabbard.
The slightly curved steel blade wholly decorated with gold overlay floral motifs and central cartouche comprising inscription to one side of blade with flanking smaller cartouches and inscriptions, the ivory hilt with characteristic yataghan pommel, leather covered wooden scabbard tooled with cartouches, ensuite gilt copper chape and lock with abstract band design at lock and finial in form of a makara.
Signed as: ‘Work of Ahmad’.
Owner’s name as: ‘Owner Sayyid Salim Agha’
The slightly curved steel blade with inscriptions in decorative cartouches at the forte, carved silver hilt extending over the forte, the marbled-jade hilt secured by six silver pins, the leather covered wooden scabbard with intricately engraved ensuite chape and lock with bud finial.
The slightly curved steel blade with flat back edge, carved with floral motif at the forte, the rhinohorn hilt with a shim comprising gold gilt band decoration, with vestiges of gilt inscriptions along both sides of the blade.
The slightly curved steel blade with deep groove at flat edge of blade adorned by gold overlay, large carved inscription to one side of blade with bird and smaller inscription in a lobed cartouche to the other with lion, the nielloed hilt with a split pommel, the leather-covered wood scabbard with nielloed ensuite chape, lock and two suspension mounts with rings.
The steel blade of characteristic form with copper quillons in assymetric curve and engraved silver mount at forte comprising floral motif, the faceted rhino-horn hilt with ribbed-dome finial, wooden scabbard with red-ground velvet and gilt metal-thread embroidery comprising six-point star and vegetal motif, with ensuite engraved copper chape and lock with central rectangular panels comprising floral motifs.
The slender and curved blade of finely-watered steel with gold inscription in lobed cartouche at the forte, with gold hilt quillons, horn grip and gold set velvet roundels at pommel, leather-covered wood scabbard with ensuite engraved gold chape, lock and suspension mounts with rings.
The slightly curved slender steel blade expanding towards the tip with ridges to the flat edge, solid gold hilt quillons and rhino horn hilt, leather covered wooden scabbard with finely engraved solid gold ensuite chape and lock, scabbard with attached cord and ivory collection label inscribed “Presentation Sword to Admiral Dundas”.
Remembered as a brave and chivalrous officer, James Whitley Deans Dundas began his naval career with expeditions to Holland (1799), Gibralter and Egypt (1800) before serving as Midshipman at the blockade of Alexandria aboard H.M.S. Kent. He was promoted to lieutenant aboard the Cambrian in 1805 before being given command of the Rosamund in 1806. He was injured by a shell explosion in a Copenhagen dockyard whilst trying to extinguish a fire that had broken out after the surrender of the city. Following many years service in the Baltic and North Seas as well as the Mediterranean, Dundas was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral in 1841, and then Vice-Admiral in 1852. When the Russian war broke out in 1854, Dundas had chief Naval command of the operations, including the transport of the army to the Crimea and the engagement with the sea-forts during the Siege of Sevastopol on 17th October of that year. Dundas gained the rank of full Admiral in 1857 after having been awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour and the Medjidie of the first class two years previously. He died in October 1862. His portrait by W.J. Edwards hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
The steel barrels with gold overlay comprising a turban within a circular garland and star motifs, the carved forestock with naturalistic floral motif, the stock decorated throughout with wire-inlaid abstract pattern, the grip, pommel and trigger guard with carved military instruments, the lockplate inscribed with ‘H. Vigniat at St Etienne’, both with velvet covered saddle holsters embroidered with metal-thread vegetal design, with ammunition pouch under flap.
The long tapered steel barrel encased at the muzzle, the stock decorated throughout with gilt-silver, finely chiselled and chased with floral motifs,
maker’s stamp at the sighting plate, a bulbous pommel and finely carved trigger guard with embossed peacock.
The long tapered steel barrel encased by a silver mount at the muzzle, the stock fully decorated with engraved silver mounts comprising floral motifs, lock plate with embossed motif of lions, flintlock engraved and inscribed ‘Herman Ghiot’.
The Kirk-Narduban patterned steel barrel with carved lobed cartouches, the faceted wooden stock, the sighting plate and front stock decorated with natural and green-stained ivory mosaic cartouches and bands, the ivory butt plate.
The slender barrel of cast steel with gold gilt palmettes at each end of the barrel, silver engravings comprising floral motifs secured to the whole of the rifle, predominantly at the stock and butt, with a engraved silver sighting plate, gold overlay and coral at the trigger.
The long and slender barrel of pattern-welded steel with fine floral engravings and inscription, stamp of horse on steel barrel, ivory-inlaid and khatamkari decoration to the wooden forestock, with stained-green ivory sighting plate.
The steel barrel wholly decorated with gold overlay floral motifs, clasped to the forestock by applied niello mounts, gold overlay to the trigger and trigger plate, niello band of palmettes at ivory butt plate.
The pattern-welded steel barrel with gold overlaid lobed cartouches, the wooden stock faced with ivory richly decorated with inlaid mosaic hexagrams, the stock with teardrop shaped coral set in bands of engraved silver, a small tughra stamp on the barrel, the butt plate of replacement ivory.
It is thought that this rare type of gun bearing white and green-stained ivory decoration was made for the bodyguard of the Ottoman sultan. Traditionally ascribed to the late 17th/ early 18th century (Paris 1988, no. 42 and 43), a dated example in the Khalili Collection (d. A.H. 1191 / A.D. 1777-8) suggests that the whole group should be reassigned to a later period (Alexander 1992, pp.128-129, no.73). Michael Rogers, however, convincingly points to documentation that such pieces were certainly manufactured in 17th century Istanbul: “In his account of Bitlis in 1655-6,
Evliya Celebi gives a list of muskets by the most reputed makers allegedly in the collection of Abdal Khan, the ruler of that principality. Among the Istanbul masters, he lists Memi, Kuçuk Omer, Uzun Mehmed and Kara Mehmed Ketbeli as specialists in jewelling and encrustation” (Rogers
Comparable examples of ivory-inlaid Ottoman guns are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. no. 32.75.270), the Military Museum in Istanbul (Palace of Gold and Light, Washington, 2000, p.160, no.E25), the Victoria & Albert Museum (North, A., An Introduction to Arms and
Armour, London, 1985, p.11, fig.3b), the Wallace Collection (Laking, G., Wallace Collection Catalogues: Oriental Arms and Armour, London, 1914, no.2091) and the Khalili Collection in London (Alexander 1992, pp.126-9, nos.72 and 73; Paris 1988, no.42), as well as two privately owned in Denmark (Islamic Arms and Armour from Danish Private Collections, Copenhagen, 1982, nos. 40 and 41) and a number of others.
Signed as: ‘Work of Mahmud ibn Muhammad’ With the tughra of Mahmud I (A.H. 1143- 68/A.D. 1730-54)
Stamped maker’s name as: ‘Work of Khidr (?) ibn Muhammad’
the octagonal watered steel barrel stamped with the maker’s name PIETRO GATELI and held by five capucines, the steel lock inscribed BERTELI, the wood stock inlaid with gold wire with elaborate floral and vegetal scrolls, with the Turkish maker’s name and date, further enriched by applied gold escutcheons chased with vine scrolls.
Inlaid in gold on the stock:
ya quli (?) usta ‘ umar sana 263
“…The master ‘Umar, the year 263/(1846-7)”
The rifle is notable for its accomplished and elegant design and the lavish use of gold inlay executed with exceptional elaboration and care. The chased and engraved gold escutcheons are also of refined quality and further enhance the sumptuous effect.
The Martini-Henry rifle with slender barrel of cast steel and wooden sighting plate with gold wire-inlaid floral motifs, the wood stock and butt plate with silver wire-inlaid ornamentation, wood butt plate also comprises carving of military devices.
Martini rifles were supplied to the Ottoman forces in large numbers. Following the victory of the Prussians in Europe in 1866, the Ottomans instituted major military reforms inaugurated by Hussein Avni Pasha in 1869. As a result, in the war against Russia in 1877-8, Ottoman troops
were armed with Martini Henry and Snider rifles as well as the new metal cartridge which the Russians did not yet possess.