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Image of Saber (with lion-headed hilt and scabbard )

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Saber (with lion-headed hilt and scabbard )

Creation date: 1850s
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Steel Saber
Medium and Support: Steel, brass, enamel, wood and fabric
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.1496.a-b
Dimensions: 35 3/16 in. x 5 3/4 in. x 2 9/16 in. (89.38 cm x 14.61 cm x 6.51 cm)

Label Copy

June 2005
Tastes in Asian Art Installation
The fine quality of the hand-wrought watered steel blade reveals the distinctive process known as damascening, which produces the wavy lines in the steel of pre-modern arms and armor from the eastern Islamic world.
The cloth-covered wooden scabbard has been fitted with brass rings that would have been used to fasten the weapon to the wearer's belt, as can be seen in the paintings of battles and hunts.
Lion heads ornament the end of the hilt and two sides of the pommel. The lions are shown baring their teeth and roaring in a form that continues a two-millennia-old Persian tradition. The green and blue enamel ornament includes vegetation, peacocks, cranes, ducks, and fish. Such imagery conjures thoughts of the paradise that the holy warrior hopes to reach upon death; the birds are metaphors for the Muslim faithful on their quest to reach God.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

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