Description & Technical information

A tapering plain steel blade of this single edged steel saif or sword with a silver hilt and scabbard. The hilt features a scalloped top and a roundel on each side with Arabic inscriptions. The knuckle chain is connected to the hilt. The hilt and scabbard have finely engraved and gilt decoration. The middle section of the scabbard has diagonal bands of decoration. The chape of the scabbard ends in a similar scalloped edge, showing a careful symmetry with the hilt. The word ‘saif’ is meant to describe not a type of sword necessarily, but as a word commonly used for swords. A small inscription can be found on the edge of the mount. It reads as 
سعادات تجد[د] كل يوم واقبال على رغم الحسودي [كذا]
‘May felicities and good fortune be renewed (for you) every day in spite of the envious.’
This is a variant on a verse from The 1001 Nights (Kitab Alf Layla wa-Layla, vol. 1, Bulaq, 1256/1835, p. 57).  
The roundel one side reads as 
وما توفيقي الا بالله عليه توكلت
‘And my success can only come from God. In Him I trust.’ (part of Qur’an 11:88) and on the other side suggests the maker’s name
شغل (؟) حمادي علي ...
‘Work of Hammadi ‘Ali …’
It is likely that this was made by Ottoman craftsmen for the Arab market.
Comparative material:
Hales, Robert. Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion. 2013, p. 236.

Stock no.: A5638

Period:  late 19th century
Medium: Gilt silver and steel blade
Dimensions: 99 cm (39 inches)
Categories: Arms & armour