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Symbolic Saudi sword to be auctioned in Paris

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A rare sword, which was given as a gift to Prince Ahmad Shah Khan of Afghanistan in 1932 by King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, is on show at a Paris auction house, ahead of its sale in mid-November.

The sword is believed to have been symbolic in the creation of present day Saudi Arabia, as Jean-Christophe Chataignier, an expert on Ancient Arms and Historic Souvenirs explained.

“Afghanistan had conceded two regions to Saudi Arabia to create its kingdom and it's at the occasion of the hand-over of those two regions that grateful Saudi Arabia offered this sabre to Ahmad Shah Khan to thank him for the transfer of those two territories. So it's something extremely strong. The hand-over of these two territories will allow for the creation of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Chataignier said the sword symbolizes many things including diplomacy and friendship.

“A sword has a lot of meanings, but mainly it symbolizes peace and friendship, justice. So to offer a sword is truly a token of fidelity and gratitude. In fact, it's on the occasion of this friendship treaty that the final flag for Saudi Arabia is born, in which you can see this very important symbol of the sword,” he added.

The sword is estimated to fetch around 800 thousand euros at auction, and Chataigner predicted that the object will be of interest to museums as well as individual collectors.

Chataignier believes the blade dates back to the 19th century and is of Syrian origin. The pommel is made from 24 karat fine gold, with floral motifs.

The sword itself is double-edged, and slightly curved, upon it the word “Allah” is etched and the sheath is also ornately decorated.

The artifact will be auctioned in the French capital on November 17.

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