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Ceremonial Dagger

ca. 1530-1550

This dagger is one of the most magnificent examples of the production of the Ottoman imperial workshops to have survived. The associated historical and symbolic references establish it as a masterpiece of craftsmanship from the second half of the 16th century, when the Ottoman empire reached its peak under Suleiman the Magnificent and his successors Selim II and Murad III. Inspired by the Chinese bestiary, the dragon heads adorning the guard symbolise spiritual sovereignty and temporal power, while the round pommel surmounting the hilt is suggestive of the gladius of the Roman legions. This feature appeared in the Islamic world during the 15th century on Nasrid and Mamluk swords and was introduced into Ottoman Turkey by craftsmen who emigrated to Istanbul after the conquest of Egypt in 1517.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Title: Ceremonial Dagger
Geography: Istanbul, Turkey
Date: ca. 1530-1550
Medium: steel inlaid with gold
Classification: arms, military equipment, uniforms
Dimensions: H. 26 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2016.007
Contact for images: [email protected]
Permalink: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/Explore/online-collection/ceremonial-dagger-turkey
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