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Micha Hofmann




Location: Bonn, Germany
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Museum impressions from Istanbul         Reply with quote

Hello, fellow forumites.
I've just returned from a one week trip to Istanbul. Among the many great things I saw during this week were the arms and armour collections of the Topkapi palace and the turkish military museum.

And the best thing was... they allow you to take pictures. Happy

Thought I'd share a few of the impressions ( and of the close to 300 pics ) with you. Please excuse if I do not always remember the exact descriptions of the Items i photographed.

( Edited because of typos )



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Several gifts made to Sultans through the ages. 15th century Romanian longsword, a No-Dachi and an Indian made shield with mother of pearl inlay.

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Ceremonial greatswords and Samurai armour ( also gifts )

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( Ceremonial ? ) Mameluk halberd heads, 15th - 16 th century

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Turkish 16th century sword. Made for Sultan Süleyman the magnificient

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The "European helmets"-room in the Turkish military museum.

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Turkish mail shirt ( I think 15th century )

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Several Yataghans ( turkish, 19th century )

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Hollow ground knife presented to Sultan Abdülhamid the second, 19th century
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice pictures!
One thing I've been wondering about; Do they have any byzantine stuff?
It strikes me that i have yet to see a actual picture of a spathion...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Turkish 16th century sword. Made for Sultan Süleyman the magnificient

Nice sword! Looks like a cross between a kilic and a pulouar
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Micha Hofmann




Location: Bonn, Germany
Joined: 25 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Nice pictures!
One thing I've been wondering about; Do they have any byzantine stuff?
It strikes me that i have yet to see a actual picture of a spathion...


I'm sorry but I do not remember having seen/ photographed any byzantine arms or armor.
There were some 8th century swords at the Topkapi palace, but those were of non-byzantine origin. ( Persian or egyptian if I remember correctly ).

My guide states that the earliest arms and armor in the turkish military museum are 12th century.
Maybe there was something in the one hall of blades the museum stuff would not let me enter. My visit was not during the main tourist season, so some parts of the museum were closed for cleaning/ renovation. I tried everything short of outright begging or illegal acts, yet they would not let me in. Sad


Overall I saw many arms armour parts I had never seen before in those two museums. Since my vacation has dramatically increased my interest in turkish and byzantine history, I'll now have lots of new books to read...

I'll probably post some more pictures later today. Happy
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the pictures, you lucky guy. Happy

The Askeri Museum is one of the places I've always wanted to visit, but never had the time or money to do so. They have an excellent collection of 15th-16th century Mamluk armour, did you get any pics of those?

And also i remember they have some splendid late 13th century-early 14th century Turkish helmets, did you manage to get a photo of those?

Thanks again for showing us the pics.
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R Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is Istanbul anywhere near Constantinople? Mad
"Those with wisdom loathe the one forced to defend." - Liechtenauer

Ars Gladii
Detroit, MI


Last edited by R Smith on Thu 11 Jan, 2007 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The top sword in the second photo with what looks like a finger-ring - is that a type XIX hand-and-a half? I really like the look of that one.
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R Smith wrote:
Is Istanbul anywhere near Constantinople? Mad


As close as you can get, and as far as you can get! (Hows that for an answer?)

Seriously, Istanbul is Constantinople; the Turks renamed the Byzantine city Istanbul (which I believe means something like "that city") after their conquest of the city in 1453.

Wasn't there some old song that made fun of how to get to Constantinople, which they played in the background in one part of Terry Jones's "The Crusades"?

If your post was just a joke, well, never mind then! Wink Happy

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
The top sword in the second photo with what looks like a finger-ring - is that a type XIX hand-and-a half? I really like the look of that one.


I would like to second that! Tell us, is that really a finger guard on that "great sword" in the top of the second photo, or is is just an artefact from the method in which the sword is displayed? I does look like a finger ring.

I've been interested in fullered "great-swords" with finger-rings since I saw the drawing of the one on the Armeria Reale in Turin. Check out this thread for the drawing from The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms & Weapons, and a photo, of the great sword with finger ring in the Armeria Reale:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...inger+ring

Thanks for sharing the photos!

(I especially like the sword in the first photo, the one that looks to be the sword of Stephan the Great of Moldavia, c. 1480. I've only seen a black and white photo of that one in Hungary and the Fall of Eastern Europe 1000-1568 by David Nicolle. It looks more dramatic in colour!)

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Micha Hofmann




Location: Bonn, Germany
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Fay wrote:
Roger Hooper wrote:
The top sword in the second photo with what looks like a finger-ring - is that a type XIX hand-and-a half? I really like the look of that one.


I would like to second that! Tell us, is that really a finger guard on that "great sword" in the top of the second photo, or is is just an artefact from the method in which the sword is displayed? I does look like a finger ring.


I've just taken a closer look. It does not seem to be a finger ring. To me it rather looks like something attached to the crossguard with wire, perhaps a museum label. I hope the picture below shows this a little more clearly.

I was really astonished how big these three swords were. To me they seemed like an example of a bladesmith's ability to produce such a large, yet still durable blade. Just look at the samurai armor and the shield for size comparison.

Thanks for the info about Stephan III of Moldavia. When I looked at it, the sword was just labelled "Sword of Stefan" which made me wonder who that Stefan had been. I've included some more pictures of it below.



As to the mameluk armour/ turkish helmets: I'll be looking for these next.



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A closer look at of the greatsword in question.

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Sword ot Stephan the Great - Another shot

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Sword ot Stephan - Pommel and Crossguard

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Sword of Stephan - The tip
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Micha Hofmann wrote:

I've just taken a closer look. It does not seem to be a finger ring. To me it rather looks like something attached to the crossguard with wire, perhaps a museum label. I hope the picture below shows this a little more clearly.


Oh well, it was as I feared, just an artefact from the way it's displayed! It does look like a label of some sort in the close-up shot you showed. Neat swords, though, even if the one doesn't have a finer ring.

Micha Hofmann wrote:

Thanks for the info about Stephan III of Moldavia. When I looked at it, the sword was just labelled "Sword of Stefan" which made me wonder who that Stefan had been. I've included some more pictures of it below.


There was a little bit more information in the caption of the photo of this sword in the Osprey book, Hungary and the Fall of Eastern Europe 1000-1568 by David Nicolle. Here's what it said:
David Nicolle wrote:

Sword of Stephan the Great of Moldavia, c. 1480. The blade of this fine weapon may have been imported from Germany but the hilt, and in particular the pommel with its Cyrillic inscription, was probably added locally. (Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul.)

Thanks again for the photos of that fine-looking sword!
Great stuff!

Stay safe!




As to the mameluk armour/ turkish helmets: I'll be looking for these next.[/quote]

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Micha Hofmann said
I've just taken a closer look. It does not seem to be a finger ring. To me it rather looks like something attached to the crossguard with wire, perhaps a museum label. I hope the picture below shows this a little more clearly.


That finger ring was just wishful thinking on my part. It isn't a XIX either. It still is an extermely fine looking sword.

As for Oakeshott XIX's, I read that some swords of that type, originally deposited in the Alexandrian Arsenal in Egypt, made their way to a museum in istanbul, maybe this one.
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Micha, I look forwards to seeing any pictures you may have.

BTW, have you considered uploading some of your pics to the Museum Photographs album on this site? There is no album for the Askeri Museum in Istanbul, yet... Happy


Roger,

When the Ottoman Turks conquered Egypt in 1517 they shipped loads of stuff back to Istanbul as loot, including vast quantities of armour and weapons. That is why the Askeri Museum has a lot of Mamluk equipment. Any weapons in the Alexandria arsenal would also have been sent to Istanbul.
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Micha Hofmann




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham,

I've looked through all of my armour pics and must admit I'm not sure, which pictures show mamluk armour and which just Ottoman / persian protective gear.

The only ones of which I'm relatively sure are these two greaves from the Askeri and those two sets of armour from the Topkapi palace. Since I'm quite tired by now I'll post these before I go to sleep and add some of the other pics tomorrow.

Opening a museum photograph album sounds like a very good idea.
I guess, I'll take a look at how it's done and then start editing and adding all of the pics during next week, when I have the time ( my holidays end today ).



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2 Sets of armour, Topkapi palace.

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The same sets, shown from the other side

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Mameluk greave, 15th century from the Askeri Müze

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Dito


Last edited by Micha Hofmann on Thu 11 Jan, 2007 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the photos, Micha. Some of those pictures were of particularly good quality - often difficult in a museum setting. It is great to be able to travel vicariously through people on this site like you (and, recently, Manouchehr Khorasani in this thread).
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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Manouchehr M.





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jan, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for sharing these pictures. Beautiful indeed.

Kind regards

Manouchehr

http://www.mmkhorasani.com
http://www.arms-and-armor-from-iran.de
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jan, 2007 2:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Micha, I think at least one of the armours in the first picture is Mamluk, because it is very similar to this one.

Thanks for the pictures of the cuisses, I think the Askeri Muze need to check their labeling though. Big Grin
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jan, 2007 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Micha, did you take any pics of Kazāghands or non-sword weapons (axes, maces, flails, hammers, polearms etc)?

Thanks

Danny
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Micha Hofmann




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Jan, 2007 1:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Danny Grigg wrote:
Micha, did you take any pics of Kazāghands or non-sword weapons (axes, maces, flails, hammers, polearms etc)?

Thanks

Danny


If a Kazaghand ist a cloth covered/ padded mail shirt, I have one here. And yes, I have some more blunt weapons, axes and polearms ( in additions to the ones presented above )

I'm about to leave for the weekend, so I'll just put a few more pics in before I go. Enjoy! Happy



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15th century Kazaghand from the Askeri Müze. Labelled as belonging to grand vizier Mahmut Pasha.

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Flail from the Topkapi palace

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Several ( i think mamluk ) maces from the Topkapi

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Turkish mace, 17th century ( Askeri Müze )

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Another one

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And my final pic before the weekend:
19th century turkish light javelins from the Askeri müze.


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My favoured mace from the Askeri. Persian, 17th century [ Download ]

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Axes and halberd heads from the Askeri [ Download ]
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Sat 13 Jan, 2007 3:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great pictures once again Micha, thanks for sharing them.
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