The Ottoman khanjar blade in close-up: another look at the shock $154,400 sale
Hermann Historica tells us about the exciting recent upwards trends in rare Ottoman collectibles
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Monday 31 October 2011
Just a few days ago we reported on the extraordinary sale of an Ottoman khanjar blade as part of Hermann Historica's extraordinary auction series.
Following discussion with the auction house, we've discovered that they've been noticing a powerful interest in this area of collectibles for a while, and it is reflected more deeply in the auction than by just one blade, though it has been to be a particularly fine piece.
An Ottoman kilij set from the mid-19th century with coral and turquoise. This boasts a broad blade with a T-shaped reinforced back and a wider double-edged point.
The maker's cartouche is inlaid in gold at the base of the blade on the obverse side, and both sides display a long golden inscription with the pseudo-date "1112".
The entire surfaces of the copper gilded grip and quillons are set with turquoise cabochons and drop-shaped cut corals. This easily exceeded its €12,000 listing to bring €24,000 ($33,900).
Then of course there was the Presentation sabre from Turkish Sultan Mahmud II to Otto I of Greece, the blade of which is decorated with fire-gilded, etched ornamental vines and trophies as well as silver victory surahs. This brought €43,000 against a €30,000 estimate.
But of course the biggest story remains the gold inlaid Ottoman khanjar blade from 16th century, with a grip from 18th century.
The double-edged blade is lightly ridged on both sides and inlaid with ornamental tendrils (Artemisia stelleriana) in gold. Listed at a mere €4,000, it sliced its way through expectations to reach €110,000 ($154,400).
Robert Weis, Head of the Antique Arms and Armour Department at Hermann Historica has concluded 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.
"The gold inlaid Ottoman khanjar blade has been recognised as an extremely rare and exceptional blade. Estimated with a very moderate price, the great interest in the lot prior to the auction confirmed the evaluation of the auction house. So it has not been a complete surprise in being such a successful sale.
"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 more news about Herman Historica's exciting auction results.
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Images: Hermann Historica