A Turkish Yatagan, made in Ahmed Tekelü’s workshop between 1525 and 1530, Istanbul.
According to the Metmuseum: “The gold incrustation on the blade depicts a combat between a dragon and a phoenix against a background of foliate scrolls. These figures, like the gold-inlaid cloud bands on the ivory grip, are Chinese in style and were probably introduced into Ottoman art through contacts with Persia. The extremely high relief of the delicately modeled goldsmith’s work, and the use of rubies for eyes, silver for the dragon’s teeth, and a pearl set into the phoenix’s head, exemplify the opulence and refinement of Ottoman luxury arts.
This sword is one of the earliest known yatagans, distinctly Turkish weapons characterized by a double-curved blade and a hilt without a guard. Yatagans were commonplace in Turkey and the Balkans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and served as sidearms for the elite troops known as janissaries.”