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Silver-gilt Khanjar with Watered Steel Blade
Ottoman Turkey
circa 1800

length: 56cm, weight: 906g

This khanjar (or kanjar - in Arabic it means simply a 'knife' or 'dagger') is of Ottoman Turkish manufacture - probably it was made in an area of Turkey close to
the Balkans - and it shows obvious Balkans' influence.

It comprises a curved double-edged finely watered steel blade with a prominent medial ridge, a scabbard sheathed in gilded silver and a hilt finely decorated in
etched floral gold leaf work.

The scabbard is of meticulously worked gilded silver. The upper section has multiple bands of beaded, plaited and filigree work. The middle section has been
left plain, and the lower section is worked to give the appearance of tight twisted wire bands, narrowing to a bud-like tip.

Elgood (2009, p. 253) illustrates a similar
khanjar with an ivory hilt but with a similar blade and an almost identical scabbard. The Elgood example was in the
possession of Prince Ioannes Karatzas (1760-1845) of Greece and at one point the Ottoman ruler of Wallachia.

References: Khanjars of similar form and attributed to around 1800 are illustrated in Skott, O., 'H. Bronse Hansens Vabensamling' in Vaaben-Historiske
Aarborger,
XXXV 1989; and in the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo Palace near St Petersurg, and illustrated in Arsenal of Tsarskoye Selo: One Hundred
Subjects from the Collection of the Russian Emperors
, St Petersburg Publishing House Baltica, 2000. Also see Elgood, R., The Arms of Greece: And her
Balkan Neighbours in the Ottoman Period
, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and Stone, G.C., A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and use of Arms and
Armour in all Countries and in all Times: Together with some Closely Related Subjects
, Southworth Press, 1961.

Provenance: UK art market.

Inventory no.: 917

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