Presentation Sabre with Scabbard
- Dated: 1846
- Maker: unknown
- Place of Origin: Austria
- Medium: steel, wood, turquoises, silver and gold, embossed, engraved and etched
- Measurements: overall length: 93.5 cm. Weight: 0.76 kg, without scabbard
- Hallmark: Vienna’s mark and the year of 1846
This exotic silver-mounted sabre belonged to Anatole Demidoff, Prince of San Donato in Florence. It is depicted in an (unfinished) equestrian portrait of him by Karl Briullov (1799-1852), begun in 1828, and now in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Although seemingly entirely made of silver in Bruillov’s portrait, it appears to have been at least partly-gilded; traces of the precious metal still in fact remain, but most has vanished, perhaps due to over-cleaning during its “working” lifetime.
Despite its singularly Ottoman style, the hilt of the sword bears an (unidentified) Austrian silversmith’s mark and all the mounts are struck with the standard Austrian mark for silver, indicating that it is almost certainly of Austrian manufacture. Swords in “Eastern” style were particularly fashionable throughout Europe at this time, being especially sought-after by dashing young cavalry officers and noblemen.
[image: a photo of a person wearing a red sequinned burqa and lacy black gloves. they’re holding a fan and a sign that says “QUEER MUSLIMS NEED ACCEPTANCE”. the text is surrounded by multicoloured, flower shaped pieces of paper.]
“Los gays musulmanes necesitamos aceptación!”