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Gold & Ruby Saif

Place of Origin: Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain?)

Date: 19th/ Early 20th Century

Overall Length: 920mm

Blade Length: 790mm

Reference: 021

Status: Sold

Full Description:

A gold mounted ‘Saif’ sword from the Arabian Peninsula.  A single edged wootz damascus blade probably of Indian origin with an inscription filled cartouche to one side:

‘amal-e kazima’ ‘Work of Kazima’.

A hilt of Arabian form with upward pointing pommel and grip with repousse and filigree decoration is entirely clad with gold and the bud quillions and forte with gold mounts.  A golden chain set with a ruby attached to the pommel and one of the quillions.

The wooden scabbard clad in leather, stitched with gold wire, and gold mounts decorated in repousse with floral and geometric patterns.  The locket has the traditional ‘agrab’ or scorpion motif, and the bottom chape lozenge panels of gold.

A similar sword is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (M.294-1976) and illustrated by North, see no.25b, p.31.  It also has a trade blade and is ruby mounted.  It is said to have been presented to Lord Athlone by Sheik Iza of Bahrain in 1928.