A marvellous Perso-Indian shamshir by Asadullah Isfahani, 18th/19th century, the blade dedicated to Nadir Shah Afshar (1688 - 1747)
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DescriptionThe sturdy, slightly curved blade made of wootz-Damascus, the root and the back of the blade with gold-inlaid inscriptions on both sides, including the Basmala (first verse of the Koran), the dedication to Nadir Shah ("Nadir Tadjdar") and the signature "Asadullah Isfahani". The gilt silver hilt enamelled in colour, lavishly adorned with diamonds and polished rubies, fabulous foliage and decorative tendrils, the ends of the crosspiece and the pommel terminating in tiger's heads. The velvet covered wooden scabbard with fittings decorated en suite to the hilt, also set with diamonds and rubies, and two suspension rings in relief. Length 101 cm.
Nadir (or Nader) Shah Afschar was born on 22 October 1688 in Dastgerd in Khorasan and died on 20 June 1747 in Quchan, when he was assassinated by his retinue.He was of comparatively humble birth. On the death of his father, a peasant farmer and shepherd, he and his mother were taken prisoner and sold as slaves. Nadir was able to escape from his servitude and, as a young man, became the leader of a group of mercenaries. Following in the footsteps of his idols, Genghis Khan and Timur, he quickly won a reputation as a brilliant strategist. Historians have variously described him as the "Second Alexander" and the "Napoleon of Persia". He subsequently ruled as the Shah of Persia from 1736 to 1747 and founded the Afsharid Dynasty. His dominion stretched from the Caucasus to the Indus and to the south bank of the Persian Gulf.
In 1738, one of his campaigns also took him to Delhi, the kingdom of the Mughal emperors. When Nadir Shah conquered the city and left again in May 1739, he took thousands of slaves with him. Moreover, he captured the famous Peacock Throne, which subsequently became the symbol of all Persian rulers. Legend has it that his spoils included 700 elephants, 4,000 camels and 12,000 horses. They pulled wagons, all of which were loaded up with gold, silver and gemstones, among them the celebrated diamonds Koh-i-Noor ("Mountain of light") and Darya-ye Noor ("Sea of light").
Condition: II - Questions about the lot?