Novoselov V.R. (2024). Sablja seraskira Kafy – relikvija Russko-tureckoj vojny 1768-1774 gg. [The sabre of Ibrahim Pasha, the Kaffa serasker, as a relic of the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1775)]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 13, pp. 9 — 42.
Abstract: The article studies a group of sabres which entered Moscow Armoury Chamber between 1809-1811 as part of a group of arms stored in the Court Stable Department in St. Petersburg. In cold arms inventory of Moscow Armoury Chamber compiled in 1862 by Lukian Yakovlev and published in 1884, one of the sabres was wrongly attributed as delivered from Imperial Ryust-kamera. However, the author of the article identified it as belonging to serasker Ibrahim Pasha, the Turkish army chief in Crimea during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. The author managed to document that, surrendered to the Russian troops, he kept his sabre with him and later presented it together with a set of horse harness to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, the heir to the throne, in St. Petersburg.
The author draws attention to the fact that the Court Stable Department had a whole group of Turkish sabres with similar morphological characteristics, most of which are mentioned as having been received as diplomatic gifts from Turkish ambassadors and dignitaries. All these sabres share one common feature: together with a saddle, each of them was a part of a horse harness set, thus, it formed a complex alongside with other tools when offered as a gift. The author assumes that in Turkey of 18th century, there was a practice of hanging ceremonial horse harness of short sabres under saddles which demonstrated high status of their owners. This custom might have replaced another practice, which existed in the 16th-17th centuries, of attaching a koncerz or a backsword under a saddle in addition to a sabre on a horseman’s belt. Similarly, maces and pernaches, which served as attributes of a military leader’s authority, were attached to the front saddle pommel in a special loop.
Keywords: Turkish sabres, serasker sabre, “saddle” sabres.