Ottoman khanjar blade raised high at Hermann Historica's militaria auction

The fine blade trounced its $5,600 estimate to bring an extraordinary $154,400 this week

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Some exciting results are trickling through from the first auctions of Hermann Historica's militaria and historical collectibles sale with some fine edged weapons leading the way and a shock result.

As expected, one of the highlights was a presentation sabre from the Turkish Sultan Mahmud II.

A beautifully made ceremonial sabre in the Ottoman/European style, with its kilij blade forged in folded Damascus and decorated with fire-gilded, etched ornamental vines and trophies as well as silver victory surahs.

The fire-gilded hilt displayed vines in relief on a punched background.The tughra of Sultan Mahmud II appears on the obverse languet and light ivory grip scales show decorative heads in relief.

Completing the picture, the scabbard is decorated en suite with fire-gilded mountings, and covered with red shagreen.

Presentation sabre from Turkish Sultan Mahmud II to Otto I of Greece Presentation sabre from Turkish Sultan Mahmud II to Otto I of Greece

It has immaculate provenance having been first passed to Hermann Historica by King Otto I of Greece himself, 40 auctions ago in May 1990. Defeating its 30,000 listing, it sold for 43,000.

But the big story of the day was from a much less hyped item, over which such a tremendous bidding battle broke out that it astonished many collectors watching.

This was a 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.

Gold inlaid Ottoman khanjar blade The coveted gold inlaid Ottoman khanjar blade

The octagonal greenish-black nephrite grip is constricted in the middle and the finials and pommel are cut with leaf-shaped ornamentation. The leather-covered (shrunken) wooden scabbard dates from later.

The blade is somewhat corroded with a few missing gold inlays and the grip is slightly chipped on one side at the base of the blade. But none of the flaws put off the bidders.

Starting at a lowly 4,000, the blade swung aloft, passing through multiples of that listing until it finally sold for a startling 110,000.

Watch this space for more exciting results from Hermann Historica's auctions.

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