A Dagger or Hançer early 19th century

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Item ref: 4072

  • Ottoman
  • Blade 17th century, mounts probably Bosnia, early 19th century. Ottoman. Iron, silver turquoise, carnelian, wood.
  • 42.5 x 7 cm


Private collection, UK

The blade is narrow, slightly curved and double edged, with two broad fullers at either of a flat medial rib, inlaid with two out of an original three gold (or brass?) stars at the forte, grooved with a fuller towards the middle of the blade. The hilt and scabbard is of silver covered with a tracery in filigree set with silver lozenges, turquoises and carnelians. The larger stones are engraved with pseudo inscriptions, one of the carnelians with a simplified tughra.

Formerly Robert Hales collection (Hales 2015, 95, no. 221. A quite similar mount from the same collection (Hales 2013, 92, no. 211) is set with striated corals and attributed to Trabzon, the coral centre of Anatolia, but more probably mounted in Bosnia with Black Sea corals. Robert Elgood made the Bosnian attribution for this group, noting that the straight bladed dagger with this type of decoration was called bodez in Bosnia.

The decoration of the mounts with their filigree, silver lozenges and inlaid stones is closely comparable to a number of Kosovar pieces, such as Karageorge’s yataghan dated 1810/11 in the Historical Museum of Serbia, Belgrade, no. W3/2042 (Elgood 2009, 112, no. 114) and a group of bodezi including Stefanis Foundation, Athens, no. 684 (Elgood 2009, 113, no. 116) and Wallace Collection OA 1910. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 36.25.757 is of the same type, as is Victoria & Albert Museum no. 1059-1884.