Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

An Eastern-style saber from the 16th century

Saber with scabbard from Hungary, Dresden Museum

Length: 95.5 cm Blade: 84.9 cm Weight: 964 g
The description in German says it is a Hungarian saber but obviously, it had come into Hungarian possession only as booty of war in the 16th century. Turks and Hungarians often got hold of each others` weapons and sometimes they modified the decoration or changed the hilts and the scabbards. As for me, its handle seems like a Hungarian replacement. The German text says the next:

“The slightly curved back blade is decorated with three recessed and gilded circles, an engraved tendril decor and remains of a spiral-shaped silver snare. In the circular depressions in each case in the middle of a small cavity, which used to be possibly gemstones.
The wooden, leather-covered handle is wound with silver wire. The entire surface of the silver-gilt knob cap is filled with the Arabic inscription “There is no hero but Ali, there is no sword except the Zülfikar”.

It is noticeable that the elongated lines of the “i” in Ali and the “f” in sword (Arabic saif) are double, i. in the form of the double-bladed sword of Muhammad. The master of the pommel cap did not simply copy an Arabic inscription, he also understood its content.
The iron forged cross is straight. The wooden scabbard is covered with black shagreen leather. The bands are made of cast and gilded silver.
The decor, z.T. consisting of perennial flowering perennials, is cut. This Hungarian saber probably came as a piece of spoils in the possession of a janissary, who had attached to the Knauf the popular with the Janissaries inscription. It belonged to the equipment of a Turk in 1602, Emperor Rudolph II sent on 23 February as a gift to Elector Christian II of Saxony. In 1719 it was exhibited on the occasion of the wedding of the son of Augustus the Strong as a weapon of the “Bassa” (Pasha) on a wax figure.”

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