Golden sabiki overall
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 50 cm

Dagger 40 cm

Blade length

27.2 cm

Blade thickness

Base 6 mm

Middle 4 mm

5 cm from tip 4 mm

Blade width

Base 40 mm

Middle 33 mm

5 cm from tip 15 mm

Weight

Sheathed 744 grams

Dagger 402 grams

Point of balance

1.8 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, wood, silver, gold, velvet

Origin

Of Ottoman make, for Yemeni market

Dating

19th century

Provenance

American private collection

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Introduction

Sabiki is the Yemeni term for a large sword-like variety of the jambiya, the Arab dagger. They are also known as Wahhabite jambiya named after the Wahhabi fundamentalists who were known to wear them. The sabiki is mostly associated with the Asir and Jizan region in the southwest of the Arabian peninsula but was in wider circulation.1

 

Hedjaz man with sabiki

People from Hejaz, the "Western Province" of Saudi Arabia.
The man is carrying his large sabiki in front of him.

From: Les costumes populaires de la Turquie en 1873
published by the Imperial Ottoman Commission for the
"Exposition Universelle" of Vienna in 1873.
Photo by Pascal Sebah.

 

Notes to introduction
1. Stephen Gracie; Jambiya, daggers from the ancient Souqs of Yemen. Stephen Gracie Pty. Ltd. 2017.

 

This example

This exceedingly fine example is about as good as this type of dagger can get. It has a substantial curved multi fullered blade, profusely inlaid with gold, and blackened for contrast. On both sides, also inlaid in gold, is a cartouche with one of the 100 names of Allah.

Hilt and scabbard are made of substantial silver, thickly fire-gilt. Almost all the gold still remains, except on some of the high spots that are more susceptible to wear. In the center of the scabbard is a piece of yellow velvet, repeated at the scabbard's mouth.

The whole is decorated with work on repousse, finely detailed. The reverse of the hilt is chiseled in crisp detail with a fish-scale pattern. 

 

 

Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade
Ottoman made sabiki with silver gilt scabard and gold inlaid blade

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