Damascus: Makers and Merchants of Weapons

Date: c. 1807

Spanish traveler Domingo Francisco Jorge Badía y Leblich (d. 1818), better known by his pseudonym Ali Bey al Abbasi, found that Damascened sabres were no longer manufactured at the time of his visit to the Syrian capital. Those manufactured in the city at the time of his visit were held to be of lesser quality compared to those produced in Turkey or Persia. Common knives were also manufactured. Although the more ancient and precious Damascene sabres were no longer being produced, they could still be found in the shops of the merchant of weapons, who sold these precious items for an exorbitant price. See also: Cutler; Blacksmith.

Citation: al-Abbasi, Ali Bey. Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. Between the Year 1803 and 1807 (Philadelphia: Printed for John Conrad, at the Shakespeare building, by James Maxwell, 1816. After London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816), II, pp. 306-307.