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Title Ottoman Kilij with 17th-century Topkapi Arsenal blade
Nationality Turkish
Period c 1650 and later
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This is essentially an early blade remounted in the late 19th/early 20th century with a rhino horn hilt and alpaca (50% silver, 50% base metal) mounts. The blade is 31 inches long and is the classic Turkish/Tartar blade of circa 1650-1700, as carried at the Siege of Vienna. It has the Eirene Arsenal (Topkapi Palace) stamp at the forte of the blade.

These blades rarely appear on the market, more commonly these late (in terms of the mounts) types of kilij are mounted with Persian blades, with a much steeper curve and an altogether lighter format. This blade is heavy by comparison and is scalloped along the back edge to lighten it and give better balance. It has a false edge for the last 10 inches or so, a feature rarely seen on Persian blades. The blade has striations from carbon impurities throughout its length, another sign of its age, as this is rarely found in later pieces.

The rhino horn hilt is superb, with a nice translucency, but there is a little opening of the grain from age and a small old worm hole.

The bracelets on the scabbard would appear to be brass with a thin silver finish, worn in places. The condition of the mounts and leatherwork throughout are excellent; all the mounts have raised leather lips around them, another sign of quality. There is wriggle work engraving on the top and bottom mounts and the crosspiece of the hilt. This type of engraving was typical on Turkish swords from approximately 1810 onwards.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : Turkish : 17th Century]


Received it in the post this morning, a very nice surprise.

M S, UK, 28.01.2012

Thank you very much for all your patience. I will be sure to leave positive feedback on your website. It has been a pleasure doing business with you.

A I, USA, 02.03.2010