Ottoman sword with twist-core blade
Overall length

84 cm

Blade length

70 cm

Blade thickness

Base 8 mm

Middle 3.5 mm

5 cm from tip 2.2 mm

Blade width

Base 32 mm

Middle 26 mm

5 cm from tip 17 mm

Weight

592 grams

Point of balance

18 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, brass soldering, buffalo horn

Scabbard: wood, leather

Origin

Ottoman Empire

Dating

19th century

Blade probably earlier than hilt

Price €2300, -

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Description

The slender shamshir-style blade with a characteristic deep curvature. The tip section double-edged.

The blade is most elaborately pattern welded, with a multi-row twist-core construction also known as "Turkish ribbon" showing off the smith's considerable skill. Most of the blade's length shows five rows. An unusual feature is that each row meanders over the blade, whereas normally the rows would more or less follow the curve of the blade. This construction is a lot more work, and a lot more difficult than the more typical twist-core pattern welding seen on Ottoman swords.

Ottoman Turkish ribbon sword

Close-up of the elaborate mutli-row twist-core blade.

 

Added labor is among others in the fact that one needs to create a much wider blade and then grind it down to the current width. The meandering also requires longer lengths of twisted strips to be created and welded together for the same length blade. The tightness of the twists indicates that the twist-core billet was also minimally hammered out, the billet being created pretty much the length of the blade.

 

Ottoman twist-core sword spine

Blade seen from spine. It shows it is created with two slabs of twisted steel, with a high-carbon edge in-between.
 

The blade's origin remains somewhat unclear. The technique was practiced far and wide, from Europe to East Asia. The silvery fillers in-between the rods remind me of a Parisian-made Manceaux knife in the Ottoman style that I sold some time ago.

 

Hilt

The hilt is somewhat underwhelming in comparison. It features a pistol-shaped grip carved out of black buffalo horn, and a crossguard made of thin sheet iron. The guard has some damage and signs of previous repairs.

I expect that an expensive and elaborate blade like this probably started life with a better hilt, but was somehow passed down to someone of lesser means who had it fitted in this manner.

 

Scabbard

It comes with a scabbard consisting of two old wooden scabbard halves in a later leather covering. Not much to look at, but it keeps the blade safe.

Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword
Ottoman turkish ribbon sword

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

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