Antique Ottoman dagger could prove another exciting test for the auction markets
The antique dagger from the Ottoman Empire is similar to one which dominated an auction last year
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Friday 24 February 2012
Tomorrow, February 25, a high quality Antique Arms & Armour auction is scheduled with 772 lots offered in Sarzana, Italy and online.
We're particularly intrigued by one of the highlights: an antique curved, damask, double-edged blade from the Ottoman Empire, complete with its leather-covered wooden scabbard. The scabbard has floral motifs engraved on its silver chape and cap. Niello has also been used.
The blade itself boasts a double fuller and a thin central cannelure, and it is inlaid with gold at the tang (protruding tip) and for the floral motif which appears on both sides.
The handle has been cut with faces to assist the grip, and there is a definite stout pommel at the end adorned with a large emerald. Overall, the 29.5cm dagger has been estimated at €5,500-€7,500.
Why is this particularly exciting? Well it provides another opportunity to take a look at a weapon from the Ottoman Empire at auction following a remarkable result at a German militaria auction series held last year by Hermann Historica oHG.
In that, the stand-out lot was not one of the acknowledged highlights, (which were estimated at five or even six figures) but a gold inlaid Ottoman khanjar blade - one of several Ottoman collectibles to do well.
Although it was known to be a fine piece, estimated at €4,000, no one anticipated the furious bidding war which broke out over it which drove the final price all the way up to an extraordinary €110,000. The two blades have a similar style, despite obvious differences.
At the time, Robert Weis, the Hermann Historica's Head of the Antique Arms and Armour Department told us that "The increased interest in Ottoman collectibles is not a recent phenomenon. The prices for rare and exclusive objects have become established at a very high level over the years."
He added that "Museums, collectors and antiquities dealers from all over the world have shown a great interest in the blade. In the end a European collector gained the lot against international dealers."
Watch this space for the results of the current auction.
Recent and related articles
· Ottoman Empire collectibles: the story of their auction success | 15 February 2012
· Rare Tiffany 'Aztec' presentation dagger auctions in California this February | 10 January 2012
· Karsten Klingbeil's antique arms and armour collection braves Belgian auction | 12 December 2011
Guides and analysis
Images: Czerny's, Hermann Historica