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A FINE & RARE ITALIAN MEDIEVAL BROADSWORD FROM THE MAMLUK ARMOURY IN ALEXANDRIA
A FINE & RARE ITALIAN MEDIEVAL BROADSWORD FROM THE MAMLUK ARMOURY IN ALEXANDRIA
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more THE SELDEN COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE ARMS AND ARMOUR
A FINE & RARE ITALIAN MEDIEVAL BROADSWORD FROM THE MAMLUK ARMOURY IN ALEXANDRIA

DATED '1419'

Details
A FINE & RARE ITALIAN MEDIEVAL BROADSWORD FROM THE MAMLUK ARMOURY IN ALEXANDRIA
DATED '1419'
With tapering 35 ½ in. (90.2 cm.) double-edged blade struck on one side with a 'W' and engraved with a two-line inscription in slender Arabic script, the other side of the blade struck with a small cross, straight iron guard with downturned tips, wood grip-scales, and wheel pommel
Provenance
Dr. Bashford Dean.
Estate of Harriet Martine Dean (Bashford Dean's sister), Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 13-14 October 1943, lot 265 (sold to Percy Selden Straus, Jr.).
Literature
Stephen V. Grancsay (ed.), Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor catalogue, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931, p. 38 (illustrated).
Et. Combe A.F.C. de Cosson, European Swords with Arabic Inscriptions from the Armoury of Alexandria, Extrait de Bulletin de la Société Royale d'Archéologie d'Alexandrie, No. 31, 1937, p. 12.
Exhibited
Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 3 August - 27 September 1931, cat. no. 131.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

This sword was almost certainly acquired by Bashford Dean during his six month acquisition tour of Europe and Turkey in 1919-20 when he is known to have purchased European armour and swords from the Military Museum housed in the Saint Irene Arsenal in Constantinople (Istanbul).

A very similar sword bearing the same inscription, date and makers marks was bequeathed by Bashford Dean in 1928 to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This sword now forms part of the Bashford Dean Memorial Collection (accession no. 29.150.143, on view in Gallery 370).

De Cosson states the translation of the Arabic script as 'Abu'l-Nasr Shaikh. Unalienably bequeathed by al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad, in the magazines of arms, in the Frontier-City of al-Iskandarîya, in the year 812(sic)'. He notes that Sultan Malik Mu'ayyad Abu'l Nasr Shaikh reigned from 815 AH (1412 AD) until 824 AH (1421 AD) and that the erroneous date 812 AH present on both this sword and on that held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be corrected to 822 AH (1419 AD).
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