Yataghan from the court of Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66)
New York, United States of America
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hegira c. 931–32 / AD c. 1525
Steel, walrus ivory, gold, silver, ruby, turquoise, pearl
L: 59.3cm; L of blade: 46.7 cm; Wt: 1lb.8oz./691g
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.
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993
Sword maker: Workshop of Ahmed Tekelü, possibly Iranian, active Istanbul, ca. 1520–30
Provenance: Rex Ingram (1893–1950), Los Angeles; his estate sale, A. N. Abel Auction Company, Los Angeles, 1989
Alexander, David, Pyhrr, Stuart W. and Kwiatkowski, Will, Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015: 152–54, no. 57, ill.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Canby, Shelia R., Haidar, Navina and Soucek, Priscilla P. (eds), Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011: 287, 312–13, no. 221, ill.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., "Workshop of Ahmed Tekelü (Iranian [?], active in Istanbul, ca. 1520–30), Yatagan", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1992–1993 (Autumn 1993): 21, ill.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., La Rocca, Donald J. and Ogawa, Morihiro, Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002: 38, no. 34, fig. 14.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, (Summer 2012): 46–47, fig. 77.
Samgin, Sergey and Barkan, Ariel, "A New Hypothesis of the Genesis of the Ottoman Yataghan: the Crimean Connection", Waffen- und Kostümkunde: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde, (2016): 49, fig. 2.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993
"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