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Re: Medieval sabres

PostPosted: 05 Aug 2014 15:57
by George S.
Sabres from Serbian medieval monasteries(fresco art XIII,XIV c.)
1,2,3 appear to be sabres of Tatar origin,note proper sabre grip, 4.Eastern style sabre,maybe of Kuman origin, with clipped point, 5.Is Romano-Byzantine curved sword with pommel, 6.Ottoman sabre,note the finger grip, 7.Kuman sabre.

PostPosted: 07 Aug 2014 06:04
by Ulrich von L...n
Thanks George.
It seems that all images have been mirrored horizontally, because otherwise one has to assume that all sabre wielding warriors were left-handed, which is very unlikely. Do we know from which book this picture has been uploaded?

Re: Medieval sabres

PostPosted: 07 Aug 2014 20:34
by Monzambano
Great stuff, fascinating!

Re: Medieval sabres

PostPosted: 08 Aug 2014 18:15
by George S.
Refurbished sabre of Serbian King Stefan Uroš II Nemanjić from 1315 is in possession of Italian King Umberto di Savoia.
There's some issues about origin and authenticity of some details on this sabre, but blade itself is of Tatar origin for sure.
We do not know how Serbian king came into possession of this sabre, but maybe it was during the Tatar outbreak and invasion of Serbia,Hungary and Poland 1282, when Nogai Khan,a great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan, send 4.000 of his troops on Serbia.
Tatars was led by firesom commander called "Černoglav" who was defeated by Serbian army. Tatar commander
Černoglav was killed and his armament and head was brought on a spear before King Stefan Milutin,as said by Archbishop Danilo II in biography of King Stefan Milutin.

There's possibility that so called sabre of King Stefan Uruš II Milutin was in fact the sabre captured from Tatar commander Černoglav.But,when this sabre become available for historians, then we could say more!

PostPosted: 11 Aug 2014 16:19
by Ulrich von L...n
It is unfortunate that we don't have any data or picture of this sabre. :(

PostPosted: 13 Aug 2014 07:02
by Ulrich von L...n
On page 1 a drawing of the Chingul sabre was uploaded, next to the sabre there is an interesting helmet. Here is a much better photo of the Polovec helmet:

csingul.jpg (53.91 KiB) Viewed 22534 times

PostPosted: 23 Aug 2014 17:43
by Ulrich von L...n
After reading Ivanowski's book (1834) it is rather obvious that he re-invented a sabre with a prominent yelman, a well-known feature of Osman sabres from - at least - the 16th century.


Turkish spelling: yalman

PostPosted: 23 Aug 2014 18:09
by Ulrich von L...n
While searching for "kilij" and "yelman" a couple of interesting sources have been found.

About the sabre of Russian prince Fedor M Mstislavski (M stands for Michailovitch, his father was Michail), who died in 1537.

The picture of this sabre has already been posted on Page 1 of this topic.

Some additional information:
The blade was manufactured in the first third of the 16th century by an Egyptian swordsmith called Abdul-Ali Kasim from Cairo (?) (there is a certain disagreement on the exact way of reading of the ornate Arabic inscription on the blade). There is another, Russian engraving on the blade saying "The sabre of prince (duke) Fedor Mstislavski".

Length of the blade: ____________ 88 cm
Width at forte: _________________ 5.5 cm
Width at yelman: _______________ 6.0 cm
Curvature: _____________________ 8.7 cm
Thickness: _____________________ 9 mm (!)
Dimensions of the crossguard: ____ 22 x 10 cm (?)
Total weight (with scabbard): ____ 2.6 kg

Source: ... 0%B8%D1%87

PostPosted: 26 Aug 2014 07:11
by Ulrich von L...n
The sabre of Mehmed II (the Conqueror) (1432-1481)



PostPosted: 26 Aug 2014 07:19
by Ulrich von L...n
Swords from Bulgaria:


Since the first photo is taken from an exhibition I had a chance to visit in the Archaeology Museum in Varna, Bulgaria, I feel I can comment on the swords pictured.

Starting from the left is a straight single edged sword found in the Rishki Pass, most likely early Bulgar, but could also be Slavic or Eastern Roman.

It is followed by two more single edged swords with straight back, which are refferred to in Bulgarian literature as "palash". They are also most likely early Bulgar, although they could also be Avar or Eastern Roman. Based on the available evidence, I also believe that this is what the mysterious Eastern Roman "paramerion" is.

Then there is a sabre, either Bulgar or Magyar in origin.

The final sword is much later, most likely 13th-14th century and almost certainly connected to the Golden Horde.

While I am not sure I will call this collection of swords Turkic, I agree that it is a good representation of weapons used by Steppe warriors from the 8th to the 14th century. Such weapons were used by the Khazars and later even adopted by the Eastern Roman Empire - both of which the Arab Caliphate had extensive contact with, and there is a good chance that even if not popular, they were known in the Middle East as early as the 9th century.
Best regards,
Teodor V.

Source: ... ern-Swords!

PostPosted: 26 Aug 2014 07:44
by Ulrich von L...n
Some remarks regarding attachments to Post No 3 (SF, Thread: Medieval Middle Eastern Swords!)

"Some early Turkic sabers:
A ______ File Type: S5003612.JPG Views: 947 Size: 21.9 KB ID: 78265
B ______ File Type: jpg bulgar sabres.jpg (85.6 KB, 942 views)
C ______ File Type: jpg earlysabermoğol.jpg (17.5 KB, 542 views)
D ______ File Type: jpg i3zo_37629.jpg (7.1 KB, 488 views)
E ______ File Type: jpg moğol kılıcı.jpg (70.5 KB, 1022 views)"

A: very likely a Polovec (Kipchak) sabre, helmet with face mask
B: described in detail in the previous post
C: it is doubtful that this sabre is Mongol (could be Hungarian...)
D: an Avar sabre, already idenfied in this topic
E: moğol, Mongol sabre??? the sabre of Charlemagne (Hungarian, probably manufactured in the Kievan Rus)

PostPosted: 26 Aug 2014 07:48
by Ulrich von L...n
A: Kipchak (?) sabres


PostPosted: 28 Aug 2014 06:03
by Ulrich von L...n
bonhams_1.jpg (3.77 KiB) Viewed 22365 times

bonhams_2.jpg (3.38 KiB) Viewed 22365 times

Lot 121
A South Russian Or Hungarian Sabre
Antique Arms and Armour London, Knightsbridge (Apr 2011)
20 Apr 2011 11:00 BST

Lot Details:
A South Russian Or Hungarian Sabre
Probably 9th/12th Century

In excavated condition, with narrow slightly curved single-edged blade, the forte with short mount extending along the cutting edge and incised with line decoration on one side, iron guard comprising an oval quillon-block recessed over the tang and grip and carrying small rounded quillons, and copper-alloy pommel of flattened elongated plummet shape set at a slight angle to the end of the flat tang, the latter pierced with a small hole for attaching grips. 78 cm. blade

This is a sabre of the earliest European type, introduced from the East by the nomadic people of the Steppes. The best-known, and most elaborate, example is the so-called sword of Charlemagne (or Attila) in the Imperial Treasury at Vienna, but many similar to the present one have been excavated in South Russia and Hungary.

See Laking, vol. 1, pp. 94-96; J. v. Kalmár, 'Säbel und Schwert in Ungarn', Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde, vol. 14, 1935-6, pp. 150-55; and W.A. Sweitoslawski, Arms And Armour Of The Nomads Of The Great Steppe In The Times Of The Mongol Expansion, 1999, pp. 47-51

PostPosted: 29 Aug 2014 07:18
by Ulrich von L...n
Not exactly medieval (approx. 1560), but one could imagine something similar in Marcelli's hand, around 1686.

storta.jpg (117.82 KiB) Viewed 22345 times

storta_2.jpg (220.9 KiB) Viewed 22345 times

"Lot Nr. 2300
An Italian falchion,
circa 1560. Slightly curved single-edged blade with double-edged point and two narrow fullers on both sides. The forte struck on both sides with decorative crescent and dot marks. Short ricasso at the base. S-shaped quillons with a shell-guard on the obverse. Grip with original shark skin cover (small losses), iron grip rings and bars. Iron bird's head pommel. All parts of the hilt with remains of fire gilding. Length 86 cm. Superb weapon in original condition.
Provenance: Boissonnas Collection." ... t64_AW.txt

PostPosted: 04 Sep 2014 07:46
by Ulrich von L...n
About t'un-k'ou at the forte (the collar on the base of the blade): Sword from Siberia

PostPosted: 04 Sep 2014 07:52
by Ulrich von L...n
A Mongol sabre (dao):

mongol_dao.png (27.78 KiB) Viewed 22210 times

"Here's the Mongol dao from the Osprey Kalka River 1223 book (D. Nicolle & V. Shpakovsky, Kalka River 1223: Genghiz Khan's Mongols invade Russia, Osprey Campaign 98, Osprey Publishing, 2001).

The Golden Horde was heavily Turkicized very early, so if you intend to portray a Turkish "Mongol" of the Golden Horde, then the western styles of sabre would be OK. These are also seen in Persian art showing Mongols. Something like the Windlass Hungarian Saber could work, or even earlier types like this Magyar sabre
Posted by Timo Nieminen (Brisbane, Australia)

PostPosted: 08 Sep 2014 07:31
by Ulrich von L...n
To be honest I don't know (1) why these swords are called sabres, but the Russian text says they are Kirgiz sabres from the 9-10th century (from an unidentified book).

sepsik_1.jpg (53.54 KiB) Viewed 22038 times

Probably due to the angled tang (sabre hilt) and visible back edge.

PostPosted: 17 Oct 2014 06:41
by Ulrich von L...n
AFAIK the earliest Hungarian depiction of a sabre.

From a Gothic illuminated manuscript called the Anjou Legendarium (Latin title: Acta Sanctorum pictis imaginibus adornata, between 1320-1340), a collection of stories from the life of saints important to the House of Anjou. It was made on the occasion of the journey of Charles I of Hungary and his son Prince Andrew to Naples in Italy in 1330. ... felett.JPG

It seems that the uploaded image - Wiki Commons - is wrongly identified as "Victory of Louis I, of Hungary against the Ottomans in Bulgaria". The only problem that his reign started in 1342. Maybe it should read "Victory of Charles I..."

We also have sabre images from ~1360 (Chronicon pictum) and 1392 (Johannes Aquila's "selfi").

Re: Medieval sabres

PostPosted: 19 Dec 2016 16:24
by Leper
Sultan Bayezid II's sword:


Sabers/Swords of Sultan Mehmed II: