Carnelian Qama & Associated Belt
Place of Origin: The Balkans
Date: 19th Century
Overall Length: 640mm (25.25 Inches)
This large sword (or qama) is found in variant forms across multiple regions, though given the present example’s decorative style the Balkans seems like the likeliest place of origin.
A warm patina covers the wooden hilt, the pommel inset with a large turquoise framed within a raised silver panel. At the hilt’s guard, further semi-precious stones and metal studs fill the space between three large carnelians inset within silver panels. The blade is cut with two slender central fullers which taper towards the point. The sword’s scabbard has been covered throughout with a trellis-pattern of fine metal filigree and generously applied with further metal studs and turquoises of various shapes, colours and sizes – a larger carnelian at its centre engraved with an inscription in Arabic.
An opulent leather belt completes the sword, half of its surface fitted with closely packed carnelians, and the remaining section fitted with brass plaques punched and engraved to depict stylised flowerheads. These are secured to the leather with studs, the belt then attached at its end with a round carnelian-studded buckle.