A journey to search my soul

This is a blog of my personal collections. The purpose of this blog is to educate myself and public in regards to antiquities especially related to religion and calligraphy. I welcome everyone to input their feedback in this blog which they think would be helpful. I do not watermark the photos in this blog so everyone is free to use them as long as they are not used for illegal and unethical reasons. I appreciate if you could notify me if you plan to use any of the photos here. Enjoy browsing!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ancient Artifact Review 21 : Antique Ottoman Talismanic Shirt / Jama / Tilsimli Gomlek ( 19-20th CE)

This is a Talismanic shirt acquired from Turkey estimated from 19-20th century. Entire shirt was written in Quranic prayers in different style and calligraphy. Beautifully decorated. A piece of spiritual art.
Length from top to bottom = 65cm
Length from sleeve to sleeve = 80cm

Here's an excerpt from the web about Talismanic Item

"A talisman is any object that is imbued with protective powers, and all cultures have manifestations of such objects. In the world of Islam, they bear Qur’anic inscriptions, astrological signs, and religious narratives. Many Muslims believe that an object that is inscribed with the word God (Allah) will protect the person who reads, touches, or sees it and that the word of God has the power to ward off evil. The surface of a talismanic object can be covered with prayers, signs, numbers, and decorative motifs, and the object is carried in a pocket, or rolled and placed in an amulet case; some talismans are worn as clothing.
Talismans that contain inscriptions with the names of prophets and religious heroes have the power to protect an individual from hardship and danger by acting as a conduit between the two.
The most efficacious talismans are those that are inscribed with prayers that evoke the name of God and the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. The ninety-nine names of God, verses from the Qur’an, and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (hadith), for example, are appropriated and regenerated into texts that are meant to be good omens. Talismans that contain inscriptions with the names of prophets and religious figures have the power to protect an individual from hardship and danger by acting as conduits between these holy figures and anyone carrying the talisman. This is also true of devotional manuals by religious leaders (shaikhs) with passages stating that whoever reads them will be protected from demons and supernatural beings (jinn)  The written story about a prophet can be protective as well, with pictorial representations of that prophet and of the omens associated with him.
Talismans not only shield but guide their wearers; they are objects that reflect occult practices. Amulet cases (15.95.137), mirrors (1978.348.2), boxes,weapons, talismanic shirts or banners are capable of shielding a person or group of people from the forces of evil. When a person is confronted with an ethical dilemma, all he needs to do is consult the Qur’an or one of these objects for guidance." ( http://islamic-arts.org/2011/amulets-and-talismans-from-the-islamic-world)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 132 : Antique Spanish Parchment ( 1418 CE) during Andalus Kingdom period

This is an interesting parchment written in old Latin purchased in 2013. Even though I am more interested in Arabic & Islamic Manuscripts, I acquired this manuscript to compare the western writing tradition with the Islamic writing tradition. The material used in this manuscript is from sheep leather written only on one side. There is a date 1418 CE written in the middle of the parchment ( line 26).
The capture of Granada & the defeat or Moors happened in 1492 CE. Hence this manuscript was written while the Andalusia Kingdom was still ruling Iberia.
This manuscript is about the distribution and the division of the estate belonged to Pere Bover to his legal heirs.
I am grateful to Prof Gerard Mari i Brull and Albert Bosch i Boixereu from Barcelona University who had made the translation possible. Below are the excerpts of this manuscript :

 "Pere Bover, sacristan of the church of Cornellà, bestows on his own niece Magdalena, daughter of James Bover, deceased, and of Anna, his wife, 250 gold florins (with a value of 137 pounds and 10 -Barcelona- silver coins) in order to provide the dowry for her marriage. They belong to her as legitimate paternal inheritance of her father's property.

In the event of (line 5) dying without any legitimate and natural children, or with natural and legitimate children who have not yet reached the age of 25, then 50 pounds of this money must be bestowed to Bernard Bover of Cornellà, paternal uncle of aforementioned Magdalena, or to his heir, and the rest must return to the aforementioned Pere Bover, sacristan, if he is still alive, or to his heir or to whoever he wants. Except for 20 pounds, which Magdalena can freely vouch.
Aforementioned Magdalena (line 9), accepting this gift from her uncle Pere Bover, with the consent of Peter Bover, uncle, and of Bernat Bover, uncle and guardian, gives as a dowry the mentioned 250 gold florins to her husband Jaume Ponç, from Borgonyà?, under these conditions.
Jaume Pons (line 14) gives onto Magdalena, as a gift for weddings, another 250 florins of gold. In case of restitution of dowry, he commits for all his assets and he determines that it has to be paid by the end of the year after his death. He also determines that she be the owner of the assets which he has committed, whether she remarries or not, until the heir returns the entire dowry. He also determines that the benefits and income received while the dowry hasn’t been returned cannot be counted as part of the return of the dowry. He also states that she can keep her clothes, except for the best costumes, which must be held by the heir, since costumes were not included in the dowry (except for the wedding dress).
Bernat Bover, uncle and guardian of Magdalena gives his consent. (Line 25-26).
Sign of Pere Bover. Signs of Jaume Pons and his wife Magdalena. Sign of Bernat Bover.
Witnesses are the honoured Antoni Riera, sacristan of the church Centenys and Bernat Saverres, tailor of Banyoles.
Sign of Pere Bernat Vilana, substitute notary public of Bernat Serra, notary public Banyoles, deceased, by the authority of the Abbot (monastery of Banyoles)"

The date is in line 26 stating "Actum est hoc Balneolis, die quintadecima januarii, anno a nativitate Domini millesimo quadringentesimo decimo octavo" means Written in Banyoles, on January 15, year of the nativity of the Lord 1418.

See similar manuscript but in French 
French Vellum

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Spaniard Parchment
Content :  Division of estate
Dim : 520mm x 290mm
Date : 1418 CE
Copyist : Notary Public Banyoles
Origin : Banyoles, Spain
Calligraphy : Roman
Design :
Purchased Price :USD

Ancient Artifact Review 20 : Antique Qajar Persian Qalamdan 18th century

This is an old Persian Paper Mache Pen case ( Qalamdan) which measures 10-3/4" long 7-1/2" in circumference. It is beautifully lacquered in a floral motif with beautiful bright colors.
This is a typical Persian Qalamdan with rounded ends and sliding trays, painted in polychrome and gilt,  covers and sides with bulbuls perched amidst wild roses and apple blossoms, inside drawers decorated with intertwining floral motifs and serrated leaves in gold on yellow ground.

Dim : 10.75in x 7.5in x 2 in
Date : 18th Century CE ( Qajar Persia)
Material : papier-maché
Origin : Iran