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Title Ottoman yatagan
Nationality Bosnian
Period c 1835
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

Essentially Slavonic, these were co-opted into use by the invading Ottoman armies. They were worn between the late 17th century and 1870 and, in the 18th century, carried by the Pandurs (Austria's frontier troops). Janissaries (the Sultan's guard infantry) would have carried one, with a pair of pistols and perhaps a long gun.

Yatagans were generally made in the Balkans by Muslim sword cutlers. This particular piece was probably made in Foca in Bosnia, or Prizren in what is now southern Macedonia.

Measurements: blade 58.5cm long; scabbard 65.5cm; hilt (from edge of gilt mount on blade to top of pommel) 22cm.

Hilt: silver gilt, coral and garnet, with walrus ivory grips. One of the ears had broken off and I have had it skilfully restored with steel pins holding the work together within the join. Typically, there are age cracks all over the ivory. It retains virtually all its original gilding, with just one small spot of wear to the metalwork at the bolster.

Scabbard: silver sheet over a wood base, the top section being parcel gilt cast silver with silver filigree overlay. The top mount is a little loose - I removed it for cleaning and underneath is the original red velvet, obviously rather faded and stained with age. The lower part of the scabbard has substantial bruise patination from age and use. The throat is missing some metalwork, again fairly typical of the age of such a piece.

Blade: traditional forward curve (3.25cm wide at widest point), with Solomon's seal overlaid in silver on one side and the maker's details (Muhammad al-Samad?) and date (1251 AH? - 1835) on the other. The blade has been sharpened for field service.

Overall, the condition is magnificent.

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

[Edged Weapons : Swords : Bosnian : 19th Century]


The documents were absolutely perfect - more than I expected.

C T, UK, 21.02.2012

The Lee Metford bayonet and scabbard arrived today. I am delighted with its condition and also with the prompt service.

M F, UK, 18.02.2010