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Inventory

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Nomadic Sabre

Place of Origin: Iran

Date: mid-13th-mid-14th Century

Overall Length: 970mm

Blade Length: 860mm

Reference: 023

Status: Sold

Full Description:

An important sword which provides a crucial missing link between the protosabers used by Eurasian steppe nomads in the sixth to the twelfth century and the fully developed western Asian forms of the later fifteenth century.  It was probably made for a nomadic horseman probably in North Eastern Iran during the reign of the Ilkhanids (1256-1353).  See Komaroff/Carboni/Pinchot, p.13, fig.7 and p.272, no.136.

The gently curving blade has a swollen yelman with a false edge of 220mm (approximately 9 inches).  This feature would have given a powerful swing, but also enabling it to be used for thrusting, an element that can be seen on Indian swords all the way into the 19th century.   The long tang would have given the sword impressive mechanical strength, and probably would have had grip scales of horn or wood, the original pins and three large iron studs still remain.  A separate ovoid shaped cross guard of crucifix form with a central ridge.

Exhibited
The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353 held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 5, 2002, to February 16, 2003, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from April 13 to July 27, 2003.

Published
The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353, p.13, fig.7 and p.272, no.136.