Description: This type of axe / polearm was popular in Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia in the 16th and 17th centuries. There are identical berdiches in the Military Museum (Askeri Museet) in Istanbul. There is always a possibility that this is from the Islamic end of Russia, around the Caspian and Black Seas, bordering Turkey. The inscriptions constitutes a prayer calling on God (Allah) and the Prophet Muhammad.This suggests that the axe was probably carried by Janissaries, a large percentage of whom were members of the Bektashi order of dervishes; Bektashi holymen themselves typically accompanied the Janissaries into battle, so it could also have been carried by one of them.This piece is well made and shows natural patination and wear.Its engraving is not top quality but is decent enough to be real. It could perhaps be of 17th century date, but with traditional styles being retained in the Ottoman Empire, It does not, however, look like a cheap tourist piece of the 19th century. The short inscription makes me think that it is not a ceremonial piece but a war weapon.There is a distinct possibility that this Berdich perhaps could have been left over from The Battle Vienna in 1683. The Battle of Vienna 1683 took place on September 12, 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle broke the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe, and marked the political hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty in central Europe. The battle marked the turning point in the 300-year struggle between the forces of the Central European kingdoms and the Ottoman Empire. Over the sixteen years following the battle, the Habsburgs of Austria gradually occupied and dominated southern Hungary and Transylvania, which had been largely cleared of the Turkish forces.Ideal for any collection of Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic, sword, arms, armor, rapier, armour, 1500's, 1600's, "14th century", "Fifteenth century", "Sixteenth century", "17th century", "antiquities".
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