Weapons - Shishak

Owner: grand vizier Mehmet Sokolowitsch (1505 – 1579) 
Size: 46 cm x 22 cm x 34 cm
Origin and time: Turkey, around 1560
KHM (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna
Inv.No. HJRK_C_159 Collection of Arms and Armour

This magnificent oriental shishak of grand vizier Sokolowitsch is made of fire gilt silver and iron, the latter partly decorated with gold damascening. Its rivets are designed in the form of rosettes, and the silver braids are smooth and partly gilt. The interior is padded with silk. Various framed fields contain inscriptions invocating Allah or citing verses of the Qur'an. 
Grand vizier Sokolowitsch was recruited from the sultan's Christian subjects by the practice of devşirme. He made a successful career at the court of Suleiman and kept his position under the two succeeding rulers.

Arms obtained in battles with Ottoman armies were usually reused in other fights, and only curiosities and especially valuable samples were kept and preserved. The biggest collections of such armour can be found in Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Moscow, Munich, Dresden and Karlsruhe. In Vienna these "Turkish Preys" can be chronologically divided into two sections: before and after 1683. Today the most popular Collection before 1683 is shown in the Collection of Arms and Armour at Museum of Fine Arts at Neue Burg. All the trophies are of excellent quality and astonishing beauty, they are diplomatic presents and attentions to the Royal Family from different Asian rich persons and rulers, who maintained political and diplomatic relationships with Austria. One small part might have come from the time of the campaigns of Archduke Ferdinand of Tirol against Sultan Suleyman I. All these objects permit the visitors to gain a realistic picture of the military equipment of the Ottoman army of the 17th and 18th centuries.