Category: egypt

Egyptian Revival scarab paperweight (inscribed…

Egyptian Revival scarab paperweight (inscribed with name of Ramses in hieroglyphics) made by Rambervillers, France, circa 1920.

victoriansword: Egyptian cuirassiers and thei…


Egyptian cuirassiers and their armour

Egyptian (Ottoman) Khedive Guard’s cuirass and helmet, early mid to late 1800s. Muhammad Ali Pasha was an Albanian commander in the Ottoman army who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. The Khedive’s Army of Egypt (The Turkish Egyptian Army), was part of the Ottoman Imperial Army until the outbreak of war in August 1914, using the same ranks, training, and similar uniforms.

Muhammad Ali Pasha had his own ambitions that were often at odds with the 

Sublime Porte. The arms and armour of his armies were inspired by French styles. 

The Odyssey of the Sword of Rudolph Carl von S…

The Odyssey of the Sword of Rudolph Carl von Slatin

Reading ‘Fire and Sword in the Sudan’ I came across an interesting anecdote which shows the travels an individual sword could take in the late-19th century. The book is a first hand account by Austrian officer Rudolf Slatin, who under British service was made the governor of Darfur in the Sudan. During the Mahdist uprising he was taken prisoner, but managed to save his own life by pretending to serve the Mahdi. He lived as a captive for 12 years and eventually managed to gain his freedom and return to Britain.

–Matt Easton, Schola Gladiatoria

**Slatin Pasha’s sword would have been an Austrian M1861 Infantry Officer’s Sword.

victoriansword: Egyptian Cavalry Sword by Wilk…


Egyptian Cavalry Sword by Wilkinson Sword Co.

Sort of a British sword and sort of not! This is one of the rarest Wilkinson troopers’ swords you can find – made on contract for the Egyptian Army when it was under British control, some time at the end of the 19th century. Sword collectors will instantly recognise the shape as that of a French M1822 light cavalry sabre, which the Egyptians wanted for their cavalry – so Wilkinson made them. This is one of the only ways that you’ll get a French/US styled cavalry trooper’s sword made by Wilkinson and this example is in wonderful condition. The blade is perfect, like new. The maker’s mark is crisp. The hilt is rock solid and in equally great condition. The brass is aged, but perfect. The shark skin is 100% perfect. The grip wire is all there and tight.

Miniature broad collar made in Egypt, early Pt…

Miniature broad collar made in Egypt, early Ptolemaic Period (332–246 B.C.)            
Via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Check out @grandegyptianmuseum . A great blog and a location that is definitely on my bucket list.

Relief plaque of cobra on a neb basket, Egypt, 400–30 B.C.(Via…

Relief plaque of cobra on a neb basket, Egypt, 400–30 B.C.

(Via the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

A Mamluk Sword, Egypt or Syria, 13th-15th Century The straight…

A Mamluk Sword, Egypt or Syria, 13th-15th Century

The straight double-edged steel blade with engraved inscription on both sides, the hilt with rounded, ridged pommel, oval-shaped wood reserved in the centre, with a wrist-strap ring above and pierced quillon tips. 106 cm.

On both sides:  
‘This is a waqf of the Emir of Yalbugha, in the year 862 AH(?)’ (1457-58 AD)

Although the reading of the date is uncertain, it coincides with the style of its inscription and presumed period of manufacture. The date furthermore corresponds to those relating to the Emir Sayf al-Din Yalbugha b. ‘Abd Allah al-Baha’i al-Zahiri Barquq, who was named to the post of governor of Alexandria on 29 December 1438, a position he held for less than a year, passing away on 22 October 1439 (L. Kalus, ‘Donations pieuses d’épées médiévales à l’arsenal d’Alexandrie’, in Revue des Etudes Islamiques, t.L., Paris, 1982). A number of similar swords were donated by Yalbugha to the Arsenal of Alexandria confirming the suggested attribution of this sword (see Kalus 1982, pp.80-86, and Mohamed 2007, p.43, no.12).

Swords from the early Islamic period such as this example are extremely rare and characterised by their straight and double-sided blades. Swords belonging to the Mamluks and early Ottoman Emirs and Sultans are today mainly dispersed between the Topkapi Saray and the Military Museum, Istanbul. The swords in the Military Museum are said to be “[…] a series of extremely unusual swords that were brought back to Istanbul by the Ottomans after the conquest of Egypt as spoils of war and placed in the Arsenal” (ibid, p.124, no.83), explaining the presence of so many Mamluk examples in Turkish collections.

Of the very few extant examples of early Islamic swords, there are two reputed to have belonged to the Prophet and others said to have belonged to the early Caliphs and Companions, taken as booty from the Mamluks by the Ottomans after the battle of 1517. These survive in the Has Oda of the Topkapi Saray and are known as the ‘Blessed Swords’ or Suyuf al Mubarake. The Military Museum, Istanbul features similar examples to our sword with resembling mounts and blades and although they are identified as Mamluk and dated to the fourteenth century, they must have derived from the Ayyubid style of the Saif Badawi or the ‘Bedouin Sword’ (Yucel 2001, pl.80-83).

One sword of the twelfth century, belonging to Najm al-Din Ayyub, the father of Saladin, the conqueror of Jerusalem, made by Salim Ibn ‘Ali for Najm al Din ( 2355) has a quillon whose socket and guard is akin to that of our sword (Yucel 1988, p.77, A related quillon can be found on a blade with Abbasid or Umayyad provenance (ibid, p.76, pl.33). For two other examples of comparable pommels and quillons found on fourteenth-century blades and identified as Mamluk, see Mohamed 2007, p.112, nos.11-12. A handful of blades related to ours in the Military Museum, Istanbul are on display (four in the galleries, with a similar number in the reserve collection but not in good condition) of identical size, temper, weight and quality of steel.

The early Mamluk Sultans were Turks from the Kipchak territories, and preferred the use of the sabre, a slightly curved slashing weapon, more suitable for mounted warfare than the Saif Badawi. There is evidence that Mamluks carried and used both types; however the Saif Badawi was reserved for investiture and enthronement ceremonies of the Emir, in honour of The Prophet, who had several straight, named blades (See Elgood 1979, p.203). This Arab tradition of the Saif Badawi was continued in Saudi Arabia, Zanzibar and Oman until the nineteenth century (Mohamed 2007, p.79, cat.43).

collectorsweekly: “A Song of Faith,” illustrations of the 23rd…


A Song of Faith,” illustrations of the 23rd Psalm by J.C. Leyendecker, 1905.

Ancient Goldsmith’s Tomb Filled with Mummies Discovered in Luxor

Ancient Goldsmith’s Tomb Filled with Mummies Discovered in Luxor