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  • DESCRIPTION

Title: Shamshīr

Classification: Sword

Artist(s): Unknown

Date: 19th century

Dimensions: L. 36 in.

Museum number: 262

Physical location: Section 2 (Central Hall): Implements of War

Inscriptions: (scroll down)

The blade of this sword is slender and deeply curved which classifies it as a shamshīr (after the Persian word meaning a lion's tail). The hilt is decorated in zar-nishān work, where the applied silver flowers project from the background. These flowers are contained within a lattice of koft-garī (steel damascened with gold) foliage. One side of the blade carries a section of Surah Al-Hadid (57:25) from the Quran in a cartouche. Next to this is another cartouche carrying a Persian inscription.

Surah Al-Hadid (57:25): […] And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers, unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

(Translation: Saheeh International https://quran.com/57:25?font=v1&translations=20%2C131 )

Persian inscription:

‘Amal Muḥammad Raẓa (the rest is illegible) 1:2
(Made by Muhammad Raza […] 1:2)

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