I was just at Tesco. I did not previously know the checkout person.
CHECKOUT PERSON: So, that’ll be £16.48.
MARN: (long pause) What happened in 1648? I thought it was the Spanish Armada. But that sounds like it should have been in 1548.
CHECKOUT PERSON: Yeah, that’s definitely the Tudors. It was…
Saber with Scabbard
- Dated: 19th century
- Culture: Turkish
- Medium: steel, gold, gilt brass, diamonds, emeralds, pearls
- Measurements: overall length 39 3/4 inches (100.97 cm)
- Provenance: Sultan Murad V
The most important ceremony in the inauguration of many Islamic rulers was the investiture with a sword, rather than a crown. This extravagantly decorated saber traditionally is said to have been refitted in 1876 for the investiture of the Ottoman sultan Murad V (reigned May 30–August 31, 1876).
He suffered a nervous breakdown before the ceremony and subsequently was deposed and kept a prisoner until his death in 1904. The sword was probably assembled by a court jeweler, using a seventeenth-century Iranian blade, an eighteenth-century Indian jade grip, and gem-studded gold and gilt-brass mounts of contemporary workmanship.
The emerald near the top of the scabbard opens to reveal a secret compartment containing a gold coin marked with the name of Süleyman the Magnificent (1494–1566), the most powerful Ottoman ruler of the sixteenth century. The underside of the emerald is inscribed with the phrase “According to God’s will.”
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