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Original 19th Century Austrian Officer’s Saber made from 17th Century Ottoman Wootz Steel Kilij Scimitar Blade

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Item Description

Original item: One of a Kind. This is an excellent and very interesting Austrian Officer's saber, with a long history that spans centuries! The sword is beautifully constructed with a 17th Century Ottoman Wootz steel blade. It is very curved, and looks to have come from a Turkish scimitar style known as a "Kilij." The blade almost certainly dates back to the Siege and later Battle of Vienna, which took place from July to September 1683.

The blade now features a fabulous carved steel stirrup type hilt, with a single guard enclosing the wire bound leather grip. Every aspect of the fretted steel ironwork is of magnificent quality. The all steel scabbard has been constructed with a hinged rear trap door section, which allows the very curved blade to be withdrawn and replaced in the all steel scabbard with little difficulty. All privately constructed, certainly by one of Vienna's finest swordsmiths of the 1840s.

The very curved 17th Century Ottoman blade's entire length is engraved on both sides with, with one side still being relatively clear, reading:-

PREMIERÀ - LA - COSTANZA - 11 Agosto 1848

This is Italian, and translates to "Constance will award, 11 August 1848". The other side has markings as well, but they are very worn, and do not look to have been as well executed. The letters are also a different style, so it may be from when it was captured from Ottoman Turkish forces. Also, the blade is made from "Wootz Steel", an early form of laminated crucible steel, similar to "Damascus Steel." The texture of the blade surface makes it somewhat hard to read in the light.

Research tells us that this was perhaps a "captured war trophy" taken from a very wealthy Austrian officer, possibly during the First Italian War of Independence (Prima guerra d'indipendenza italiana). This conflict was part of the Italian Unification (Risorgimento), and fought by the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont) and Italian volunteers against the Austrian Empire and other conservative states from 23 March 1848 to 22 August 1849 in the Italian Peninsula. There were also other conflicts during 1848 on the Italian islands as well.

More research is definitely needed. Perhaps someone would be able to decipher the other side of the sword with patience and a keen eye. This has a sword that has been all over Europe.

Nevertheless, this is an outstanding example of the combination of very early quality sword blade in high quality later mountings. Ready to display!

Blade length: 30”
Blade Style: Single Edged Very Curved Kilij Scimitar with Fuller
Overall length: 35”
Handguard: 6”L x 5"W
Scabbard length: 32”

A Kilij (from Turkish kılıç, literally "sword") is a type of one-handed, single-edged and curved scimitar used by the Timurid Empire, Mamluk Empire, Ottoman Empire, and the later Turkic Khanates of Central Asia and Eurasian steppes. These blades developed from earlier Turko-Mongol sabers that were in use in lands invaded or influenced by the Turkic peoples.

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