© The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Yataghan from the court of Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66)


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira c. 931–32 / AD c. 1525

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Steel, walrus ivory, gold, silver, ruby, turquoise, pearl

Period / Dynasty:



Istanbul, Turkey


The exquisite workmanship and lavish use of precious materials employed in this sword’s construction exemplifies the opulence and refinement of Ottoman luxury arts. It is almost certainly from the same imperial workshop as a nearly identical yataghan produced in 1526–27 by the court jeweller Ahmed Tekel for the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66). The gold incrustation on the blade depicts a combat between a dragon and a phoenix against a background of foliate scrolls. These figures, like the gold-inlaid cloud bands and foliate scrolls on the ivory grips, are Chinese in inspiration, and were probably introduced into Ottoman art through contacts with Persia.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993

Citation of this web page:

 "Yataghan from the court of Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66)" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;45;en&id=arms_and_armoury

MWNF Working Number: US3 45

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