Safavid Dynasty. (1502–1736) Persian dynasty. It was founded by Isma'il I, who, by converting his people from Sunnite to Shi'ite Islam and adopting the
trappings of Persian monarchy, planted the seeds of a unique national and religious identity. He captured Tabriz from the Ak Koyunlu and became shah of
Azerbaijan (1501) and Persia (1502). 'Abbas I (r. 1588–1629) brought the dynasty to its peak; his capital, Isfahan, was the center of Safavid architectural achievement. The dynasty declined in the century following his reign, pressed by the Ottoman Empire and the Mogul dynasty, and fell when a weak shah, Tahmasp II, was deposed by his general, Nadir Shah.
Description; A rare example of fine Safavid quality and form, the heavily-gilt hilt with eared pommel. Each side of hilt two cartouchae indicating
maker's name" Asad-O-lah", the famous royal sword maker, and " Bandehe-Shah-E-Velaiat Abbas" indicating "Shah Abbas" the renowned Safavid king, the straight, broad, double-edged blade forged of Persian black Damascus wootz steel with reinforced tip and center reinforcement rib on each side, with
finely chiseled raised panels decorated in gold, depicting floral design, to each side of the forte. Red velvet over wood sheath with gilt floral embroidery and black and white piping. Overall length 35.5 cm, 14 inches.