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Sean Carr

Location: Roanoke VA
Joined: 17 Jun 2011

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 17 Jun, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: Help identify possible high-ranking ottoman officer's sword?         Reply with quote

Hey there fellas and maybe even lady or ladies, I'm Sean, and I am obviously a brand n00b. Please to stab, chop, slice me up, but I essentially have one specific inquiry.

My girlfriend's mother recently died, and while in the process of cleaning out the old house w ran across what I consider to be an interesting find, regardless of the value. I BELIEVE that it is an Ottoman/Turkish sword, possibly captured from or surrendered by a high ranking officer during the WW1 campaigns in the Middle East. I want it to be naval but I'm not educated enough to know what to look for. Also, I still need to sift through her family history in an attempt to know more, but this is all new to me. It's also exiting and I'm just learning as I go, and this is where I went because I heard you were the vest.

So. My sword I BELIEVE is a Turkish officer's sword. The blade (on side sharp) doesn't have the super-pronounced curve of the more traditional Ottoman weapons and resembles the more modern sabre. Above the hilt on the back of the etched, nickel-plated steel blade are the words "VARHAM TIGIRIAN CONSTANTINOPLE" which I think identifies its maker and point of origin. The blade is etched over 1/2-2/3's of its area and has a fuller on each side. It has an ivory grip with carved grooves adorned with brass wire and a bronze hilt featuring a lion's head pommel from which the knuckle guard pours from it's mouth, fanning out to create a wide, star and crescent-decorated cross guard. It has never been sharpened and despite a few blemishes appears to be in good condition.

There is a nearly identical sword in the Australian War Memorial, the only difference being that the piece in my possession has more of a triangular cross guard. It looks a little like a kite in a steady wind. Here is a link to a picture and description of the Aussie museum piece for comparison:

And here are assorted photos of my sword, some with MUCH higher resolution:

If anyone can steer me toward getting information on the manufacturer, his dates, locations, output, and whether he was contracted my a branch of the military, I would love that. I would love to know where great grand-daddy got it and how, but that's far me to figure out. Anyway, if anyone can help me out, I would be indebted. Age, materials, branch of service, even owner if that's possible, pretty much whatever you guys who know take the time to give me, and an idea of its worth would be great too, I guess to be a show-off, but I can't part with it.

Again, I look forward to digging up the rest of the story and, knowing I can't do it alone, It's a pleasure to share the wonder of it. Sorry for potential/likely grammar and spelling mistakes (I'm rushing) and thank you all again. I will be checking back as soon as I can. Everybody take care, and if you can help me out, I'll gladly buy you a brewskie!

Thank you all,


"Events of the past two years have virtually decreed that I shall wrestle with the literary muse for the rest of my days. And so, having tasted the poverty of one end of the scale, I have no choice but to direct my energies toward the acquisition of fame and fortune. Frankly, I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left me."
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