Sabers of 1821

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Besides the long Turkish daggers - yataghans the sabers had also been used in the battles, especially with cavaliers. This weapon is of oriental origin, which by Turkish invasion reaches our areas. There are numerous well known workshops for making of sabers in Turkey, among which a special place belongs to a well known shop in Damascus. The sabers that were forged at this well known shop in Damascus, were known as "dimiskija" in the Northern Balkan region and Zulfikar by the Ottomans. This saber was famous for the quality of its cutting edge.

The grip in Persian Sabers which were formed of two cheeks or blocks were of a material such as ivory, bone, or horn, which were riveted into place. The blade is made of wootz or "true damascus" steel. These blades would often include one or more of the following inscriptions.


  1. The maker's name
  2. Owner's name
  3. A dedication to a ruler
  4. Quotations from the Koran
  5. Talismanic devices

The Zulfikar

The Zulfikar Saber First half of the 19th century
Silver, bone, steel, wood, velvet, forging, casting, carving out, engraving
81.5 x 67 x 4 cm

A Turkish sabre. The hilt is made of brown bone with curved onion-like back-piece. The quillons are made of silver with straight, profiled endings and a thin, two-pointed langet in the middle. The blade is single-edged, curved, with a pronounced double-edged tip. Both sides of the blade have relief decorations. The Turkish name for this sword was Zulfikar.

Wooden scabbard, sheathed in black velvet, the mouthpiece and chape are long silver fitments with decorations. The edges of the fitments with two rings for attaching to the cord. The cord is made of interwoven red, silver and blue strands.

Kolokotronis' Sword

Kolokotronis' Portrait This type of sword was to become a standard piece of military equipment for the revoluntionary soldiers involved in the War of Independence as shown in the portrait of Kolokotroni where the distinctive handle is evident. This picture also includes his Yataghan and pistols.

Click on the portrait to see an enlarged view of Kolokotronis' sword (handle) pistols and Yataghan.

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