About the Art

Saber of Sultan Murad V

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In contrast to the European custom of coronation, the most important ceremony in the inauguration of most Islamic rulers was the investiture with a sword. This saber of Sultan Murad Vextravagantly decorated saber is traditionally said to have been made in 1876 for the investiture of the Ottoman sultan Murad V (r. May 30–August 31, 1876). He suffered a nervous breakdown before the ceremony and was subsequently deposed and kept a prisoner until his death in 1904.saber of Sultan Murad V

The saber of Sultan Murad V had been in the Museum since 1923 but no one discovered its secret compartment until metal conservator Hermes Knauer began cleaning it under a microscope.