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Old 8th January 2023, 06:03 PM   #31
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15 - Tomb of Apaffy György (died in 1635 but the effigy was made in 1660-61), Church of Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia, Transylvania, Romania

Unfortunately the sabre on the effigy is heavily damaged, and the photos I found were not very helpful. So this one is just for info.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiboo...ja%2C_1660.png

https://hu.wikibooks.org/wiki/F%C3%A...apja,_1660.png
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Old 8th January 2023, 08:52 PM   #32
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16 - Two effigies for Illésházy István

The first effigy was erected by Illésházy István himself, his first wife, Anna Erdődy died in 1577. He carved his image as well on the memorial stone because he thought he would rest in the same place where his beloved wife
who died at the age of 26. However, nine years after the death of the first woman, István, who was growing in power and wealth, remarried and married the wealthy Countess Katalin Pálffy, the widow of János Krussich. The Katalin survived her husband, who died in 1609, and burried him, not next to the first woman in Bratislava, but in Bazin.

Unfortunately, the sabres depicted are not very detailed.

Source: https://www.sites.google.com/site/ha...emleke-pozsony
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:06 PM   #33
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17 - Tomb effigy of Thurzó Sanislo (1576-1625)

https://bagyinszki.eu/archives/5630
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:08 PM   #34
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18 - Illésházy Ferenc (circa 1660)
https://sites.google.com/site/hagyom...renc-szlovakia
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:14 PM   #35
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19 - Thököly Sebestyén coat of arms 1572

Note: the sabre looks like it has long quillons. Also, the scabbard has old style fitting (1572 indeed).
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Old 8th January 2023, 09:27 PM   #36
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20 - Illésházy Gáspár (1593 – 1648) in life and death.

Note: Rich guys can have more than one sabre.

https://www.museumap.hu/record/-/rec...0/2/score/DESC

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...1sp%C3%A1r.jpg
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Old 9th January 2023, 02:51 PM   #37
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Remark: this sabre looks remarkably like the "Gothic sabre" (see page 1 on thread), a bit too similar. And the brass hilt (not gold) rings alarm bells, blade has a nice shape though, I suspect re-hilt. Any opinions?

https://www.hermann-historica.de/en/...s/lot/id/68147
Quote:
The slightly curved, flat, single-edged blade with a broad, double-edged point. The obverse with the marks of the famous Ottoman arsenal in the former Hagia Irene (Aya Irini) church in Constantinople. The quillons and grip made of brass, slightly patinated. Length 90 cm. An extremely rare piece dating from the reign of the celebrated Sultan Suleiman I Kanuni (1520 – 1566) and his campaigns in Central Europe. In good condition. Condition: III +
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Old 9th January 2023, 07:32 PM   #38
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Nikola Zrisnki sabre mimics

There are a few sabres around that look like (Szigetvár) Zrisnki's sabre:

A - Pulszky sabre - beware of this one, it's actually a reproduction. Source: https://docplayer.hu/222752167-Tanul...-szablyak.html
Quote:
The heroes of the anti-Turkish wars played an important role in the strengthening Hungarian national consciousness in the 19th century, among them Miklós Zrínyi, who died a heroic death at Szigetvár. It is probably due to this that Ferenc Pulszky made a copy of the Zrínyi saber kept in Vienna using a saber blade that came into his possession. The artefact was presented to the Hungarian National Museum by Ágoston Pulszky in 1898. The inventory diary of the time accurately reports on the details: "The blade originally belonged to Napoleon I, who, after the battle of Marengo, sent it as a gift to Melas, the leader of the Austrian armies at the time, accompanied by a letter. (The letter is in the possession of the Kassa museum.) Melas's wife damaged the scabbard of the sword, melted its gold, and gave the blade to Melas's adjutant, with whom she probably had a tender relationship. It came into the hands of Tettenborn from the adjutant, and Viczay won it from him for 100 gold. It was obtained from Viczay by Gábor Fehérváry, Ferenc Pulszky's uncle, from whom Pulszky inherited the sword. The scabbard and hilt of the sword are a faithful copy of the Zrínyi sword preserved in the collection of the Vienna court."
B - "Radsporn" sabre - not sure what to say about this one. The blade looks OK to me, but similarity to the Zrinski sabre, and the brass crossguard meakes me doubt this one. Any thoughts?
Source:https://www.lotsearch.de/lot/saebel-...-1600-47392553 & https://www.barnebys.de/blog/ein-aut...der-landshuter

Quote:
Single-edged blade with two narrow fullers and a stepped, double-edged point. Master's mark "Radsporn" embossed on the front next to the double inscription "IOHANNI". Cross-shaped, decorated quillons in brass. Leather grip, partly faceted. Curved pommel-cap, pointed oval and decorated. Underneath brass-framed perforation for a carrying strap. Brass decorative rivets. Old, professionally restored, leather-covered wooden scabbard, embossed with a wavy pattern on the front, reverse. smooth. Ornate brass fittings with carrying rings. The chape is decorated with edging on both sides in the lower third.
C - This one isn't really a mimic, but has some similarities, it's most likely an Ottoman sabre from the Topkapi Palace. Can't find any further info.
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Old 9th January 2023, 07:49 PM   #39
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21 - Hungarian sabre - Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum.

Interestingly, compared to most other sabres with long quillons, this one has a European blade. Can't find any other info on it.
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Old 9th January 2023, 07:57 PM   #40
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22 - Sabre of Nikola VII Zrinski (Hungarian: Zrínyi Miklós; 1620–1664), Ban of Croatia from 1647 until 1664. Bítov collection.
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Old 11th January 2023, 09:06 PM   #41
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I need some help. I am looking for a depiction on a Hungarian sabre with classic boot-hilt, in a medieval/renaissance manuscript, German I think, about firearms? fireworks?... I really don't remember. I remember seeing it many years ago online...but cannot find it anymore. Does this ring any bells to anyone?
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Old 12th January 2023, 06:25 PM   #42
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Default Hetman Ivan Mazepa's Saber

I recently read Denis Toichkin's Sabers of Hetman Ivan Mazepa article from which this photo was taken of what he concludes to be a composite saber. Where does this particular hilt fit into the discussion? It seems to be classified as a Hussar Karabela hilt that Toichkin states was popular in the late 17th century with Cossack nobles. To me the angle of the hilt and thumb ring seem reminiscent of Central and Northern European Influence. Were these straighter hilted Karabelas common?
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Old 12th January 2023, 08:38 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interested Party View Post
To me the angle of the hilt and thumb ring seem reminiscent of Central and Northern European Influence. Were these straighter hilted Karabelas common?
Unfortunately, this is a type of sabre that I know very little about... but to my eyes it combines traits found in some Tatar? sabres and other East European sabres like the the karabela (and by extension some Ottoman sabres?).

East European and Ottoman traits:
1 the scabbard fittings are reminiscent of some on various sabres of Ottoman origin. See here...of course not identical but you see the resemblance. And definitely not tatar-like fittings. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki...ren_-_8917.tif

2 the cross guard is narrow and again, reminescent of Ottoman and East European sabres of the late 1600s - early 1700. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki...en_-_51965.tif Note: the sabre in this picture is suspected of being one of Constantin Brancoveanu, Wallachian voivode based on the blade inscription

3 the thumb ring is where it departs Ottoman character and gains a Polish?? Maybe Ukrainian?? character.

Tatar traits:
4 the ray skin covering the handle.
5 the narrow, uniform curved, fuller-less, yelman-less blade.
https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/w/in...en_-_17479.tif
Although the Poles also had something inspired by this https://pl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szabla_ormiańska

But the szabla ormianska is itself inspired by Tatar sabres.

In short, to me it looks like a heavily Tatar sabre inspired design with Polish features added...but again these are sabres of which I know very little about. One thing I will say is that I don't think calling it a karabela is very helpfull. Karabelas have very distinctive hilts, most of them don't even have a thumb ring...so what's the point of calling it a karabela.
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Old 12th January 2023, 09:27 PM   #44
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The complete sword possibly being a 19th century composite I was mainly asking about the hilt. Which was identified as being late 17th century Ukranian. The straightness of the handle seemed odd to me as eastern sabers tented to have hilts with curves or angles. The quillons to me are Tartar/ central Asian influenced. Nice pick up on the Ray skin Teisani.
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Old 15th January 2023, 01:04 PM   #45
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Early Polish sabers tend to have a straight design in the hilt. They become more curved later on under the influence of Hungarian origin. Below one example. Also I would not classify the mentioned saber as a Karabela in todays terminology, since it lacks the eagle-head shape. Back in the days (17th century) Karabela seemed to describe every decorated saber but this is theory with very little evidence.
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Last edited by awdaniec666; 15th January 2023 at 01:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 15th January 2023, 01:10 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teisani View Post
21 - Hungarian sabre - Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum.

Interestingly, compared to most other sabres with long quillons, this one has a European blade. Can't find any other info on it.
This specimen looks exactly like the ones gifted by Bathory to the Saxon court. They can be still found in the Rüstkammer Dresden - possibly a museal loan?
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Old 16th January 2023, 01:41 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
This specimen looks exactly like the ones gifted by Bathory to the Saxon court. They can be still found in the Rüstkammer Dresden - possibly a museal loan?
You mean Y0054 ( https://skd-online-collection.skd.mu...s/Index/284576 )? No, they're different sabers. But you're right they are similar. Didn't have time to post it together with the others unfortunately.
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Old 16th January 2023, 02:02 PM   #48
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One minor note. I thought Illésházy Ferenc's scabbard looked familiar...by chance, looking on SKD-online I found sabre Y0224 with a similar scabbard. OK, it's not identical, but pretty close. They're even both probably from the 1650-1660! Check the description.

No way do I think they're the same sabre... but same scabbard maker? Maybe.

https://skd-online-collection.skd.mu...s/Index/289059
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Old 17th January 2023, 02:19 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teisani View Post
You mean Y0054 ( https://skd-online-collection.skd.mu...s/Index/284576 )? No, they're different sabers. But you're right they are similar. Didn't have time to post it together with the others unfortunately.
Different sabers of course, but the gift was a batch of these. I don´t think any of them was identical to another. But this question could be solved with a short email to the museum if somebody would be seriously interested.

P.S.: You´ve asked me about the origin of the stone sculputures with the Karabela(-ish) hilt within the PDF I shared. Did not forget this! It´s from an Epitaph by Paul Volckmer in the Hl. Sebald Church in Nürnberg from 1499.

Last edited by awdaniec666; 17th January 2023 at 02:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 17th January 2023, 09:07 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awdaniec666 View Post
...but the gift was a batch of these.

P.S.: ... It´s from an Epitaph by Paul Volckamer in the Hl. Sebald Church in Nürnberg from 1499.
A batch? This is interesting. Looking at their website, I didn't find any other sabres looking exactly like this one.

P.S.: Thank you, and I found a nice photo of it here. My assumption is that it's a messer handle ( https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki...-_DSC05731.JPG and https://mobile.twitter.com/Aetas_Mem...73100680622080 ), although it is highly curved... and the artist knew to put upper languettes on the cross-guard. Interestingly, the wearer has a turban on his head... so he's a turk. So the artist, to my eyes, is depicting an Ottoman sabre, but blending messer handle traits.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki...-_DSC01960.jpg
https://wgue.smugmug.com/Orte/Franke...bald/i-W6kkxcV
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Old 17th January 2023, 09:35 PM   #51
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And now for something completely different...
1 - For our viewing pleasure... antique sabres with Wojciech Zabłocki. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MJrm7JP1DJA

2 - An interview with the man himself (not really relevant to our goal, but seems a shame not to mention) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QubvyHGbiIA
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Old 21st January 2023, 05:59 PM   #52
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23 - False Dmitry I - Tsar of Russia (1605-1606)
https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki...amozwaniec.jpg
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Old 19th February 2023, 09:30 AM   #53
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Before Napoleon: the Early History of the Sabre in Europe - Russ Mitchell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QGc5MxbPbk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs4hEGIN3qQ
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Old 21st February 2023, 08:15 AM   #54
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Nikola Zrisnki sabre mimics(continued from http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...8&postcount=38)

On second thought, not sure what to make of C. Found a bit more info on it here (http://keptar.uz.ua/html/kepoldal/index.phtml?id=40305). Personal opinion, the etching makes me think european blade, from the 1800s. Any input from others would be appreciated.
Quote:
From the decorative work entitled Magyar Műkincsek, published by Köre of Műbarátok: Krasznahorka Castle, the place where the treasures of the Counts Andrássy are kept. Saber of the XVI. century.
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Old 21st February 2023, 08:39 AM   #55
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Hungarian military historical memorabilia at the millennial national exhibition (Szendrei, János - 1896 - Magyar hadtörténelmi emlékek az ezredéves országos kiállitáson. Kereskedelmi M. Kir. Minister, Budapest).
http://keptar.uz.ua/kereses/keres_ce...?kulcsszo=kard
http://mek.oszk.hu/11800/11889/pdf/11889_1.pdf
http://mek.oszk.hu/11800/11889/pdf/11889_2.pdf
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Old 25th February 2023, 12:40 PM   #56
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24 - Sabre of Ferdinand I (born 10 March 1503 – died 25 July 1564) was:
- Archduke of Austria from 1521
- King of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia from 1526-1564,
- Holy Roman Emperor from 1556-1564

https://www.museumap.hu/record/-/rec...ted-bib5847482

The folowing is adapted from "TANULMÁNYOK ZRÍNYI - SZABLYÁK by KOVÁCS S. TIBOR − NÉGYESI LAJOS − PADÁNYI JÓZSEF
https://docplayer.hu/222752167-Tanul...-szablyak.html
Quote:
The replacement of the Turkish, acorn-shaped grip cap with a flat, crested cap is a Hungarian peculiarity. An illustrative example of this is the decorative saber in the Turkish style - made in 1514 - which also comes from the former collection of Archduke Ferdinánd II of Tyrol (b 1529 – d 1595, since 1564 Imperial count of Tirol), and not only the hilt cap, but also the cross iron was changed to the Hungarian form. The letters (IHS) can be seen on the front, while the monogram (I.F.) can be seen on the latter. Presumably, the saber is connected to the Hungarian king Ferdinand I (1526–1564), who may have received the saber from Hungarian lords on the occasion of some notable event, such as a coronation or other celebration. It was used not only for newly manufactured sabers, but also for looted or gifted Turkish weapons, replacing the original cap. In its development, not so much practicality as fashion may have played a role. The hilt cap of the Hungarian saber is a metal sleeve with a sole attached to the flat surface formed at the end of the wood covering of the handle, which is held in place by nails driven into the rim below the sole. It does not provide as much space for decorative elements as the metal components of the blade or the case, however, its great advantage is that the hilt cap of the saber hanging on the side of the warrior and hidden in its scabbard is clearly visible. The display of the coat of arms and monogram makes this small metal plate almost the owner's signature, in which we can see the successor of medieval helmet badges and shields with coats of arms, as well as medallions indicating armament. Functionally, it clearly served personal identification. Considering this, we can say that the coat of arms and monogram of the hilt cap must always indicate the owner of the sword. In the case of an inherited, purchased or looted weapon, it would cause misunderstanding if the new owner kept the original cap plate, so he most likely replaced it with his own. century, since, for example, the Bebek coat of arms and the monogram G B, i.e. Georgius Bebek, were engraved in the hilt cap of the gilded silver-mounted Hungarian saber of Zrínyi's contemporary, lord György Bebek (†1567). The saber also has an oriental blade, in which the Arab swordsmith also engraved his name, according to which the piece was made by the Egyptian Muhammad.
Note: The acorn-cap to flat-cap change refered to are ilustrated in this picture from" TÖRÖK HATÁS A MAGYAR FEGYVEREKEN A 15-17. SZÁZADBAN by KOVÁCS S. Tibor"
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Old 25th February 2023, 01:59 PM   #57
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25 - Tomb effigy of Serédy György (†1557) at St. Egidius/Sz. Egyed Church in Bártfán/Bardejov, Slovakia.

Quote:
Immediately after Serédy's death, his widow, Katalin Byczynski, had it installed. The material is variegated marble with a reddish base tone. It was originally used as a lid for a stone coffin; this was dismantled in the 18th century. Parts of its sides are walled up in various places of the Sz. Egyed church, and partly used for altar tables. The inscription engraved on both sides of the stone slab: MAGNIFICVS DOMINVS GEORGIVS DE SERED OBIIT DIE 23 MENSIS APRILIS ANNO D[OMI]NI 1557.
From "Memory from the past, display for the future - early modern funeral monuments from the Transylvanian principlality by Dora Merai" we learn that it "was commissioned from Hieronymus Canavesi in Cracow by Katarzyna Buczynska de Olszyn, who also came from Poland".

Katarzyna Buczyńska remarried in 1558 with Olbracht Łaski, the heir of Kežmarok and extensive estates in Hungary and Spisz, later the starost of Spiš (recorded in 1581). She died in 1581. (Aedifico et Conservo. Eskalacja jakości kształcenia zawodowego w Polsce. Kontynuacja edycji projektu z l. 2010-2011)

https://hu.wikibooks.org/wiki/F%C3%A...ml%C3%A9ke.jpg
https://m.facebook.com/hazajaro/phot...4197621023382/
http://mek.oszk.hu/09100/09175/html/39.html
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...8&postcount=13

Note: Seredy Gyorgy's sabre seems to have the same cropped acorn-cap as Ferdinand's sabre and this one at the Museo delle Arti Marziali, Brescia in Italy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcXlasRbkm8). They both seem to be modified Ottoman hilts (notice the faceted hilt, meaning octogonal or hexagonal cross-section of the handles), with long quillons.
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Old 25th February 2023, 05:48 PM   #58
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No sabres, but too good to ignore. Battle scene depiction on Szapolyai János Zsigmond's sarcophagus from 1571 in Alba Iulia/Gyulafehérvár Transylvania, Romania.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F..._panoramio.jpg
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Old 26th February 2023, 03:34 PM   #59
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A closer look of that Epitaph by Paul Volckamer in Sebald Church in Nürnberg from 1499. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...6&postcount=50)
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Old 26th February 2023, 07:11 PM   #60
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6bis - Nikola IV Zrinski (Hungarian: Szigeti Zrínyi Miklós; 1508–1566), Ban of Croatia from 1542 until 1556. Continued

The following is a partial translation of "TANULMÁNYOK ZRÍNYI-SZABLYÁK KOVÁCS S. TIBOR − NÉGYESI LAJOS − PADÁNYI JÓZSEF". I used Google translate, it wasn't easy but the final result is reasonable. And a few more photos of the sabre.

STUDIES - ZRÍNYI SABERS by TIBOR S. KOVÁCS − LAJOS NÉGYESI − JÓZSEF PADÁNYI

The Government of Hungary declared 2016 the "Miklós Zrínyi - Szigetvár 1566" commemorative year. The decision on this says the following: "...articulating the respect of all Hungarians towards the castle captain Miklós Zrínyi and the exemplary standing, patriotism and community of the heroes of Szigetvár, expressing the nation's commitment to learning about and nurturing the life, legacy and deeds of Miklós Zrínyi, it aims that the history, message and glory of the siege of Szigetvár become widely known and serve as an example in both the social and economic life of the nation...". In our article, we examine a prominent piece of the Zrínyi tradition, the saber of the Szigetvár hero Miklós Zrínyi (1508−1566) kept in Vienna, as well as two other ornamental weapons connected to it and their cult.

Older literature on the Vienna saber.

During the cultural history of mankind, the sword has become the most symbolic of all weapons. The production of the long metal blade required serious craftsmanship and high-quality materials, which significantly increased its value. Its use required skill and thorough training from the soldier, so wearing it meant rank, and from the very beginning, as a symbol, it was associated with valor and the excellent warrior. This alone would be enough to be an expression of the heroism displayed by the actions of Miklós Zrínyi in the Croatian-Slavonic and then in Szigetvár and Transdanubian captains. However, in Sámuel Budina's chronicle, he emphasizes the role of Zrínyi's saber in the outburst at the beginning of September 1566: "he ordered his butler to hand him his sickle-shaped curved swords. These are decorated with gold and silver and are called sabers. After trying them one by one, he selected one of the four, which was still his father's, and said: 'Of my old swords, this is the one with which I earned the first glory and honor, with which I gained all that I have. With this sword in my hand, I now want to endure everything that God's judgment has imposed on me.' So he left his house, holding his sword in his right hand, and ordered that his round shield be brought after him. On top of that, he didn't want to wear any other weaponry, neither armor nor helmet."

The two spikes (languettes) together are 12 ctm. and the cross iron (cross-guard) is embellished with an arabesque decoration engraved in this place. It is more angular towards the ends of the crossbar. The wood of the very weakly bent, almost straight handle is covered with linen and above that with brown silk and pierced in two places. The edges of these holes are trimmed with silver buttercups. The sword cord was strung through these two holes. The coat of arms of the Zrínyi family is engraved on the cap of the silver handle, on which it is interesting that, unlike the previously known coats of arms, the helmet ornament is a rising dragon with a crown. Around the crest are engraved N C de Z (Nicolaus Comes de Zerin) and 1567. The wooden sheath has a cut end and gilded silver sockets. The slider is 5.5 ctm. large and decorated with artistic arabesque engravings on both sides. The sheath covered with linen and black velvet has four carrying rings. The blade is 83 ctm. long and 3.7 cm. wide, handle 11 cm. Cross iron 22 ctm. It weighs 1 kilo 700 grams. Its shape is pure Hungarian, like the quality of the 16th century. and XVII. century, it was generally fashionable here and in Poland. According to tradition, this sword belonged to Miklós Zrínyi, and as such it is one of our most precious relics of military history. However, if only the coat of arms engraved at the end of the handle was the guiding principle in this part, we may have doubts, because we see the year 1567 engraved there. Miklós Zrínyi fell at Szigetvár in 1566, and thus the coat of arms was engraved on this sword a year later, when it belonged to another member of the family." János Utóbb Kalmár, the renowned weapons historian, dealt with the Zrínyi saber in several of his works. He presented the relic attributed to Miklós Zrínyi in the most detailed way in his paper published in 1965. "The saber has a weakly curved blade and is equipped with a long-mouthed blade. Straight, long cross iron with a flanged button at the end. The total length of the cross iron legs is 22 cm. The length of the languettes decorated with arabesques is 12 cm. Straight, the handle is covered with linen and brown silk on top, pierced in two places for the wrist cord. These openings are framed with a cast silver buckle... The sheath is covered with black velvet, fitted with three-part straps and a straight-cut shoe strap. It is decorated with artistic arabesques engraved on both sides of its sash." In addition to János Kalmár, a communication by Ferenc Csillag is also worth mentioning, in which he briefly describes the characteristics of the Hungarian saber, and also mentions the Zrínyi saber as an example, about which he does not make any new findings, but only takes over the text quoted above from the catalog of the Millennium National Exhibition, without any other comments.

Attempts to recover the Zrínyi saber

Attempts were made to recover the Zrínyi saber after the dissolution of the Monarchy, when Hungary made significant efforts to bring home the items previously sent to Vienna. The Hungarian-Austrian negotiations continued for more than ten years, but none of the memorabilia associated with Zrínyi was recovered. The legal basis for the negotiations was the Trianon Peace Treaty, where Article 177 stated: "Regarding those objects or documents of artistic, archaeological, scientific or historical importance that previously belonged to the collections of the Government of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or the Crown, with respect to them, if other provisions of this Agreement do not contain any measures regarding them, Hungary undertakes to:

a) will enter into a friendly agreement with the interested States, if they call him to do so, according to which all parts of the above collections and all the objects or documents indicated above, which constitute the intellectual property of the said States, can be returned to the country of origin on the basis of reciprocity give;

b) for a period of twenty years, he will not alienate or distribute anything from these collections, nor dispose of the individual objects in any other way, unless a separate agreement is reached in this regard before the expiration of the deadline; will ensure the safety and good maintenance of the collections and will make them, as well as the inventories, lists and administrative documents relating to them, available to scientific researchers who are nationals of any of the Allied and Associated Powers.

However, Hungary will also have the right to call on the aforementioned States, and especially Austria, to conclude the necessary agreements with it in a manner similar to the previous ones, with the aim of bringing back to Hungary the above-mentioned collections, documents and objects, for which point b) above applies as collateral they will win.” The difficulties of the negotiations are highlighted by the document dated October 3, 1927, in which Elemér Varjú, head of the History Department of the Hungarian National Museum, and private university teacher Zoltán Tóth report on their course to Elek Petrovics, director of the Museum of Fine Arts. This shows that the Austrian side was on the one hand taking time, and on the other hand, trying to limit the handover to less valuable items. In the case of objects linked to Zrínyi, the Austrians argued that the Yugoslav state could also claim them due to their Croatian origin. The Hungarian side would even have been willing to hand over to the Serbs the flag and other objects captured from the Serbian insurgents in 1848, kept in the Hungarian National Museum, in return - winning the goodwill and agreement of the Serbian government. At the same time, the document also describes with raw honesty: that, despite all Hungarian efforts, they see that "we will not be able to bring Miklós Zrínyi's weapons home..." That's how it happened, the saber and other material relics connected to Zrínyi remained in Vienna.

The National Public Service University, the legal successor of the Zrínyi Miklós University of National Defense, one of the custodians of the Zrínyi traditions, organized a group of experts to renew research related to the Zrínyi saber in connection with the jubilee commemorative year. During this process, with the help of the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna, we requested permission to conduct an on-site examination of the weapon in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, during which we recorded our findings about its condition and the exact dimensions of the artifact. According to our opinion, the saber - in agreement with Wendelin Boeheim's statement - was made sometime before the middle of the 16th century. It is Ottoman-Turkish in type and form, but as we will see later - with the exception of the blade and the grip assembly - it is not an Eastern work. The polygonal, gilded silver cross-shaped iron ball ends. The curved handle spikes are very characteristic, with a six-petalled flower in the middle - only on one side - framed by arabesques on a dotted base. The rather poorly preserved wooden handle was covered with canvas and then with thin leather. There is a hole directly above the grip spike, followed immediately by two gilded silver grip fixing rivet heads, embellished with palmettes and lobed leaf motifs. Contrary to the previous descriptions, however, we emphasize that these are purely decorative elements, and not covers for the holes for threading the wrist cord, because the handle of the beaters is not drilled through. At the very end of the hilt is a small bump that serves to support the hand – at home on Ottoman-Turkish sabers – and above it is the hilt cap, which has been changed to the Hungarian form. The heptagonal grip cap, which runs to the top and is fixed with rivets on the sides, bears the Zrínyi coat of arms, monogram and the year of manufacture. We will deal with the hilt cap in detail later, but it is also necessary to mention here that its shape is a hallmark of the Hungarian saber developed in the middle of the 16th century. The smooth, curved blade made of damascus is believed to be of Ottoman-Turkish manufacture, which ends in a powerful blade slightly protruding from the curve of the back of the blade. The wooden sheath is covered with black leather applied to a canvas base and gilded silver studs. Underneath the extremely simple mouthpiece, there are two straps decorated with flowers and tendrils. The square-shaped, also gilded silver shoe strap has a long edge, which is closed by the already mentioned three-parted vein. The front and side plates of the saruveret are decorated with arabesques on a punched base, while the back side is decorated in the same way as the cross iron.

The saber also comes with a leather sword belt, which has buckles decorated with gilt silver arabesques and belt dividing gourds. Despite the shape and the Turkish blade, in our opinion, the saber is not Turkish, but Hungarian work. Turkish sabers made around the middle of the 16th century are embellished with hammered and uncast hilts, which at that time were mostly decorated with sedge leaves and lotus flowers instead of arabesques. The Zrínyi saber was modified in 1563, its acorn-shaped handle cap was replaced with a Hungarian one, which can be inferred from the different gilding of the saber. The replacement of the Turkish, acorn-shaped grip cap with a flat, crested cap is a Hungarian peculiarity. An illustrative example of this is the Turkish-style decorative saber - made in 1514 - which is also Tirol II. It comes from the former collection of Archduke Ferdinand, and not only the grip cap, but also the cross iron was changed to a Hungarian shape. The letters (IHS) can be seen on the front, while the monogram (I.F.) can be seen on the latter. Presumably, the saber is connected to the Hungarian king Ferdinand I (1526–1564), who may have received the saber from Hungarian lords on the occasion of some notable event, such as a coronation or other celebration. It was used not only for newly manufactured sabers, but also for looted or gifted Turkish weapons, replacing the original cap. In its development, not so much practicality as fashion may have played a role. The hilt cap of the Hungarian saber is a metal sleeve with a sole attached to the flat surface formed at the end of the wood covering of the handle, which is held in place by nails driven into the rim below the sole. It does not provide as much space for decorative elements as the metal components of the blade or the case, however, its great advantage is that the hilt cap of the saber hanging on the side of the warrior and hidden in its scabbard is clearly visible. The display of the coat of arms and monogram makes this small metal plate almost the owner's signature, in which we can see the successor of medieval helmet badges and shields with coats of arms, as well as medallions indicating armament. Functionally, it clearly served personal identification. Considering this, we can say that the coat of arms and monogram of the hilt cap must always indicate the owner of the sword. With an inherited, purchased, or looted gun, it would cause confusion if the new owner kept the original cap plate, so he most likely replaced it with his own. As we have seen, the coat of arms, monogram and year engraved in the hilt cap of the Zrínyi saber are not unique in the 16th century, since, for example, the Bebek coat of arms and the monogram G B, i.e. Georgius Bebek, were engraved in the hilt cap of the gilded silver-mounted Hungarian saber of Zrínyi's contemporary, lord György Bebek. The saber also has an oriental blade, in which the Arab swordsmith also engraved his name, according to which the piece was made by the Egyptian Muhammad.

Engraving of the grip cap

The engraved grip cap is not unique. In Dresden, in the former armory of the Saxon electors, a number of Hungarian weapons from the 16th and 17th centuries, including several sabers, are kept. A coat of arms depicting a bird and a crab, the NIF monogram, and the year 1569 were engraved into the grip cap of one of the very good parallels of the Bebek saber. Also, two stars and a coat of arms depicting an arm holding a mace were carved into the grip cap of another gilded silver-mounted Hungarian saber from the Dresden Armory, made at the end of the 16th century. In 1602, as a gift from Emperor Rudolf II, a magnificent Hungarian saber with gilded silver, ordered by the Turks or captured by them, was added to the previous collection, with a Koranic quote engraved in Arabic script. As we saw during the examination of the previous sabers, in the course of the 16th century, in the case of Hungarian lord sabers, it was sometimes customary to engrave the coat of arms, or coat of arms and monogram, or coat of arms, monogram, and the year in the hilt caps. During the excavation of the crypt of the Reformed Church in Csengeri, a saber with a coat-of-arms hilt cap was also found. "The image of the coat of arms is a hand holding three separated arrows with a bent arm, the tip of the middle arrow upwards, and scattered next to it we can also find the year of the saber's manufacture, the year 1575 in a very worn state, the last number can hardly be made out. Below the coat of arms, the letter I о V and further V о are stamped.” All this confirms that the coat of arms, monogram and year engraved in the Zrínyi saber can be considered contemporary and authentic. In the later centuries, it was not unusual to engrave a noble coat of arms into the hilt cap of Hungarian sabers. A very late example of this practice is the silver saber received by Count Ferenc Haller from the Hungarian Royal Bodyguard in 1842, whose hilt cap had a seal ring with the Haller coat of arms built directly into the hilt cap by the careful maker. The engraving of the hilt cap of the Zrínyi saber contains three important elements. These are: the Zrínyi coat of arms, the monogram and the year. The studies dealing with the saber give a uniform description of the coat of arms, which is due to the fact that this is the largest representation on the cap and can be easily recognized and compared with the known coats of arms of the family. Four different versions of this are included in Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, and Attila Szemán gave a detailed analysis of these in connection with the depictions of the Zrínyiérmek. Officially, until 1554, when the Csaktornya estate was acquired, gold or black eagle wings could appear in the coat of arms, after which the castle wall and the tower appear on the left side of the split coat of arms, with a six-pointed star floating on either side. On April 15, 1554, King Ferdinand I allowed Count Miklós Zrínyi (IV) to add the coat of arms of the extinct Ernuszth family from Csáktornya to his family coat of arms. This expanded coat of arms is already visible on the grip caps. Another reason for the difference between the versions of the coat of arms is that both the right-facing, rising dragon and the right-facing crowned eagle with extended wings appear as helmet decorations. As we explained earlier, the coat of arms and monogram of the grip cap clearly indicate the identity of the owner. Taking this into account, the closest functionally is the ring seal, which serves to authenticate letters and other documents and also contains the coat of arms and monogram. Looking at the Zrínyi letters in the Nádasdy archive of the National Archives of the Hungarian National Archives, a letter dated April 29, 1556 still shows the eagle-winged coat of arms with a rising dragon helmet ornament, and only on June 24 does the split coat-of-arms shield with the castle wall, tower, stars, extended wings appear crowned eagle with helmet decoration. Despite the fact that Miklós Zrínyi would have been entitled to use the extended coat of arms as early as 1554, he did not feel the need to have a new ring seal made for nearly two years. From the fact that the helmet decoration on the new coat of arms has also changed, we could conclude that the dragon is no longer used, however, on the coat of arms of the hilt cap, we can see the rising dragon above the split shield. Based on this, we should date the saber between 1554 and 1556, assuming that the maker only updated the shield in the previous coat of arms image with a dragon, and thus displays a transitional state. However, this attractive solution is clearly refuted by the year 1563 on the handle cap. The possibility of the use of helmet decorations may arise, however, taking into account the strict rules for the editing of coats of arms, we can rule out that the helmet decorations were changed for no particular purpose. All elements of the coats of arms are linked to the possessing family, they are symbols of properties and events related to them. The dragon symbolizing evil on the Hungarian coats of arms refers to Saint George, in this case the symbol of the fight against paganism. The eagle is the king of birds and thus represents dominion over territory. The change seen in ring seals fits into this symbolism. The acquisition of the Csaktornya estate is indicated by the appearance of the eagle. On the other hand, the saber made later has the dragon symbolizing warrior virtues. There were misunderstandings in the interpretation of the letters and numbers on the grip caps.

As mentioned, János Szendrei thought he recognized the letters N. C. de Z. and the year 1567. Since in his work he described the parameters of the saber in detail and also provided a drawing of the grip cap, we can rightly assume that he took the weapon in hand and performed the tests personally. Somewhat confusingly, he described the rivet holes on the grip studded with silver rosettes as holes for attaching the grip cord. If he had tried to stick a thin stick through them, he could easily have been convinced that they were not. The letters N and C are clearly recognizable on the right side of the (heraldic) coat of arms, but the group of letters on the left side is more problematic. You could read the letters P that merge into each other as "de", and the character next to it can be either 3 or Z. Since we are looking for Zrínyi's name from the beginning, we may be inclined to read Z instead, but thus the 1 and 5 on the right side , and on the left side, after the number 6, one more number is needed to make the year complete, so the stroke next to the number 6 may give the possibility to interpret it as the number 7. János Kalmár suggested a different reading. For the letters N and C on the right side, reading the 1 above them as I, he assumed the monogram N I C, on the left side he recognized the letters PP in the group of letters previously read as "de", but the 3 next to them is still Z interpreted as , and the resulting NIC. C. PP. The monogram Z was deciphered as the text NICOLAUS COMES PERPETUUS de ZERIN (Miklós, hereditary captain of Zerin Castle). This text appears as a signature on several of Zrínyi's letters, so Kalmár was probably looking for an abbreviation of it in the letters from the beginning. He accepted 1567 as the year of creation. This solution raises several questions. The characters on the right side can be read as NIC, but then the 1 disappears from the year. If the 3 on the left side is still read as Z, 56 of the easily identifiable characters of the year remain, which, taking into account the "transitional" nature of the coat of arms - described earlier - would allow a justifiable dating of 1556. On the other hand, there are two Cs in the monogram that is believed to be recognizable, but there is only one on the grip caps, which is a disturbing shortcoming. Overall, Kalmár's thought process is an improvement compared to Szendrei's description, since he tried to draw the abbreviated form of the name found in Zrínyi's signatures onto the characters of the grip cap and thereby announced the good solution, but he interpreted the characters in Russian, depriving himself of reading the year of manufacture. As he continued to accept the previous dating of 1567, he linked the saber to György Zrínyi, just like the red marble tombstone found in Szent Ilona, which shows a similar saber. Despite the novelty of this finding, it was not accepted, in professional circles the saber and the tombstone are still associated with the person of Miklós Zrínyi. The catalog of the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum and the work of one of the authors of this study published in 2010 on hussar weapons also consider it to be the saber of Miklós Zrínyi, although the Austrian catalog gives 1562 as the year of manufacture, and the letters of the monogram are given in the form N.C.H.Z. The method used by János Kalmár and the identification of the initials of Miklós Zrínyi's signature (name and address) that appear in the letters of the handle cap can provide a solution to the interpretation of the characters on the handle cap. On his ring seal used from June 1556, in addition to the new coat of arms, the previous monogram N (Nicolai) S (Seryn) is not read, but N on the upper right, PP below, C on the left, and Z below. His release was based on the signature in his letter to Nádasdy on June 24, 1556: Nicolaus comes perpetuus de Zrinio. Based on the seal and the signature, the order of the words can be disputed, or more precisely, varied. In the signature on the letter, the words are placed in two lines, one below the other. In the top row Nicolaus perpetuus, below comes de Zrinio. Taking into account the seal, when deciphering the monogram, first read the upper right, upper left, then lower right and lower left letters in order (N. C. PP. Z.). This would assume, in the case of the signature, that we would first read the first word of the top line, then the one below it, then diagonally the second word of the top line, and then the second word of the bottom line. The signature reads Nicolaus perpetuus comes de Zrinio. In the case of the seal, this would mean that we first read the characters on the right and then on the left side, both times first the one above and then the one below. The order that can be read based on the characters on the grip cap is as follows: on the right side you can see the letters N.C., and above it the number 1 of the year. On the left side, in the case of PP characters, the right stem is drawn through with a horizontal line, the right end of which breaks downwards at a right angle. The stem of the left P joins the horizontal one and thus forms a horizontal Z. With this we found the N. C. PP. Z. monogram, which allows us to see 1 above the letters on the right side, 5 above the dragon's neck, 6 above the dragon's wings on the left side, and 3 after the letters. In our opinion, the resolution of the characters is based on the above, therefore: "N. C. PP. Z. [Nicolaus comes perpetuus de Zrinio] 1563.” In connection with this, we must mention the portrait of Miklós Zrínyi, which also owes its existence to the collection of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol. According to art historians, the work was created around 1541-42, however, Szabolcs Varga, who also includes the painting on the cover of his book, notes that the image shows the towered coat of arms used after 1554, so it could only have been created later. As a bridging solution, he also considers it conceivable that the coat of arms was only painted on later. The helmet decoration of the coat of arms is the crowned eagle, and below it is the monogram N.C.P.D.Z. Based on the analysis of the design of the ring seals and the handle cap, we support the opinion of Szabolcs Varga, according to which the picture was made after 1554. As the example of the hilt cap shows, the dragon helmet ornament can also be found on later coats of arms, but the eagle only after 1554. The abbreviation of "Nicolaus comes perpetuus de Zrinio" can be recognized in the monogram, but instead of the two P's of "perpetuus" there is the D of "de" next to the initial P. When describing the portrait, he draws attention to the fact that Zrínyi rests his right hand on his sword and gives voice to the assumption that this saber may be the same as the weapon he was holding during his escape. Looking at the picture, we believe that the depicted saber is an ornamental weapon kept in Vienna, as its characteristic grip cap, gilded cross iron, grip spike and the hammered shape of the scabbard suggest this. Taking this into account, we can further specify the time when the portrait was made, as it could only have been made in 1563 or after, not excluding the possibility that it was the occasion of the significant social event discussed below. We can ask the question: why did Miklós Zrínyi need a new saber in 1563? In the case of a person engaged in warfare, the acquisition of a weapon should not need an explanation, but the saber we are examining is not an ordinary utility sword, but an ornamental weapon (we would highlight this in the detailed description, as it is important!), which is indicated by the use of noble materials and the quality of the workmanship.

The Zrínyi sable and the coronation of Miksa I as Hungarian king in 1563

In September 1563, Miklós Zrínyi was not just a guest at the coronation ceremony of the Habsburg archduke Miksa (Maximilian II 1527 – 1576), but one of the protagonists. According to Ferenc Forgách, who harbored not exactly friendly feelings towards him, Zrínyi applied for the palatine dignity. This assumption cannot be far from the truth, as he played a major role in the events. The nobles and counties of Hungary represented themselves with ornately equipped horse teams, whose general was unanimously chosen as Miklós Zrínyi, who arrived at the ceremony on September 8 at the head of a team of 186 horsemen. During the preparations, Miklós Oláh, the archbishop of Esztergom, urged the country's dignitaries to appear at the coronation ceremony "with bright splendor and in as fancy clothing and equipment as is necessary". János Lissthy (also Lissty/Listhius), the eyewitness, saw that everyone tried to comply with this: "However, those who appeared were in very bright equipment; most of them were interwoven with gold and adorned in various silk garments. And their weaponry was that of light Hungarian cavalry. All of them were equipped with armor, helmets, sabers, swords, shields and lances." At the coronation ceremony, according to both contemporary sources and new research, Zrínyi carried the state apple ("the golden ball with a cross on top"), and at the feast following the coronation of Queen Mary the next day, she dared to address the new king, "that, according to ancient custom, they drink to the health of the orders of the Hungarian crown from a large gilded silver bucket, which three people could barely lift. Miksa fulfilled this request according to his talent, and then most of those present, so that the bucket had to be filled several times." Finally, on September 13, Miklós Zrínyi and several Hungarian magnates accompanied the monarch in hussar clothing, and according to ancient Hungarian custom, they personally participated in the horse race. In Zrínyi's life, the first coronation in Bratislava in September 1563 was therefore an outstanding political and representational event, one of the defining periods of his life. Taking into account Archbishop Oláh's request and Zrínyi's participation in the coronation celebrations, it seems fully justified that he had a decorative saber made in the fall of 1563, which is worthy of his rank, the post of general of the Hungarian troops and the bearer of the state apple at this important event. In connection with this, we must also voice our assumption that the other two pieces of the collection of objects linked to Miklós Zrínyi, preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna, the hussar helmet and the ermine-lined silk jacket decorated with gold threads, could also have been prepared for the coronation ceremony in September 1563, and the Szigetvári hero could also wear them there. The other ornamental saber already described – from the collection of Ferdinand II of Tyrol, partially transformed – can even be connected to the coronation in 1563, because it was (also) then given to Ferdinand I by the Hungarian nobles. Contemporary sources can provide some clues regarding the origin of the saber. Since the blade and handle of the saber are predominantly Turkish work, and - as we have seen - only the cap and the scabbard were made to Zrínyi's order, it is likely that it is a captured weapon.

In the life of the Szigetvár hero, a notable looting took place in 1562, which Miklós Istvánffy mentions in his historical work. At the end of March, Zrínyi set out with a large force against Bey Arszlán, who was encamped at Monoszló near the Dráva, who did not accept the confrontation, but fled with his soldiers. "The Arszlán's tents and many camp animals, with burden carriers and mule drivers, hunting nets and hounds fell into our hands", as well as two old cannons and four falcons. The possibility may therefore arise that the famous saber was originally owned by Arszlán Bey, and even in its modified form it reminded its later wearer of the success in Monoszló, but its origin could of course be a raid by another looter or even a gift from a Turkish dignitary. As indicated by the above, the saber is not simply a utility object associated with Miklós Zrínyi, but an important component of the Zrínyi cult, which, together with the other objects in the Ambras collection, plays a representative role. Miklós Zrínyi was at the peak of his career in 1563. The objects prepared for the coronation in Bratislava were not only meant for the event, but were also meant to express the great dignity that played a decisive role in the life of the country. The fact that his self-sacrificing outburst in 1566 secured a place for him in the pantheon of history is already the result of the changes of fate and the politics of the time. Those personal belongings - including his weapons - that were with him during the siege of Szigetvár, certainly became Turkish booty and did not return to the family. However, his decorative weapon, helmet, and dolman made for representational purposes could remain at Csáktornya, as he did not need them in battle. This set of objects became the most personal memory of him after his death. On the tombstone unearthed in Szentilona, he is shown in full-length with a sword hanging from his side, which, in terms of its shape, the hilt cap and the straight cross iron, is modeled on the Viennese saber. Considering the design of the tombstone, it is not expected that we will get an accurate representation of the weapon, since only an eagle's head indicates the crowned eagle on the helmet decoration of the coat of arms, however, the presence of the saber shows its importance. In addition to the coat of arms, the customer of the gravestone considered the saber to be an authentic object that refers to Miklós Zrínyi. Imperial propaganda demanded heroes in the war against the Turks, but Miklós Zrínyi had an even more significant role, since his voluntary death made him a "soldier martyr". The Zrínyi family gave the empire a wartime symbol, represented by the family's personal items - relics. The fact that these objects ended up in the collection of Ferdinand of Tyrol shows the significance of the gesture. It is not a nobleman's fad, where the family tries to fulfill a request with some unnecessary things, but a collection representing the heroes of the holy war of the empire, where appearing is one of the greatest recognitions. The group of objects and the portrait were particularly suitable for this, since they were also meant to express Zrínyi's greatness at the coronation in Bratislava. The above line of thought may seem more like speculation, but we consider it important to describe it, as we wish to indicate our view that the Ambras objects were added to the collection in accordance with the conscious decision of the family. They did not try to remind Zrínyi of the gunpowder-smoked, bloodstained broken weapons of the siege of Szigetvár, but rather the dignified personal items of the candidate for palatine, which indicate the rank of the family and the role to be played in the life of the empire.
...
Blade length/penge hossz............83cm
Blade width/penge szélesség.......3.8cm
Grip/markolat...........................11.5cm
Cross-guard/keresztvas...............23cm
Languettes................................12cm
Upper languette/csúsztató?........5.6cm
Yelman/fokél hossza.................22.6cm
Mass sabre / tömeg szablya........1150g
Mass scabard / tömeg hüvely.......800g
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Last edited by Teisani; 26th February 2023 at 07:24 PM.
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