Ottoman Star Antiqued Silver Brooch from The Met Museum


This celestial brooch celebrates an opulent sword with scabbard in The Met collection. Probably assembled by a court jeweler, the spectacular saber has a 17th-century Iranian blade, an 18th-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 16th century. Underneath, the gem is inscribed with the phrase, “According to God’s will.” The most important ceremony in the inauguration of many Islamic rulers was the investiture with such a sword.

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