Persian Armourer

Persia XVIII century

Material: Forged iron with gold coatings

Size: cm 89 long

review by gherardo turchi

flourishing workshops of master armourers active in Persia during the eighteenth century.

The tabar, also called tabarzin, meaning “saddle ax” in Persian, was a type of battle-ax originating from the Ottoman Empire and more precisely from Persia, India, and the surrounding countries and cultures.

The tabarzin was about seven feet long, while a shorter version was about three feet long and had one or two crescent-shaped blades placed at its head, the latter generally surmounted by a sharp point. What makes the Persian ax unique is the very thin, very light, and always metallic handle. The tabarzin was sometimes carried as a symbolic weapon by wandering dervishes.With gold engravings both on the blade and on the metal handle, the latter ones worn by time, this tabarzin has a particularly sharp tip, with some foliage spirals engravings framed in an engraving with gold inlays;  the same foliage and flowers engravings are on the ax head, both on the crescent and the hammer, richly decorated with gold outlines. This weapon of excellent workmanship takes its place in that whole of offensive weapons probably made for great Persian leaders, as the wealth of details and the exquisite and careful workmanship with which it is made was aimed exclusively at prominent personalities in the war field.Now in an excellent state of conservation, this tabarzin is an important addition to the catalog of works manufactured by Persian master armourers during the eighteenth century.

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