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, June 29, 2016

Ancient Coin Review 109 : Sultanah Inayat Shah Zakiat Ad Din Shah ( Aceh Sultanate 1678-1688 CE)

This is a gold coin from Sultanah Inayat Shah Zakiat Ad Din Shah era. She is the third female to be throned in Aceh Sultanate and daughter of Sultan Muhammad Shah. She reigned Aceh from 1678 - 1688 CE.
In 1683 CE , she had the "honor" of receiving a delegation and gifts from the Sharif of Mecca which originally intended for Great Moghul Aurangzeb who refused the delegation.
Aurangzeb coin can be seen in below link :
Aurangzeb Coin

While I couldn't find any reference as why the Mughal Emperor refused the delegation, I found interesting impact of the delegation visit to Aceh from the book, Islam in Modern Asia written by I.K. Khan.l

Th original intent of this delegation was to visit Moghul Sultan Aurangzeb however he refused to entertain them.( If anyone knows the reason of this refusal please share with us!)
The delegation then stopped in Aceh and was well received by the Sultanah Zakiat Din and the people of Aceh. Letters and gifts were presented to the Sultanah. The delegation was asked to stay few days in Aceh while the Sultanah has ordered the preparation of gifts for them. One of the gifts prepared was a gold statue made from gold from the palace and the Bayt Al Rahman Mosque which were destroyed by fire during the reign of Sultanah Naqittat Din.
These gifts were brought back to Mecca and some of them were distributed to the poor population in the Haramayn.
This visit was a controversial one as the ruler of the Aceh was a woman whereas the Islamic law prohibit a woman to be a ruler. This visit has boosted the prestige of the Sultanah. While the Haramayn ulama were silent in this matter during Sultanah Zakiataddin reign, the people Aceh have also stop disputing the status of a woman ruler.
The silence was broken during the reign of Sultanah Kamalat Ad Din when the Chief Mufti of Mecca has issued a fatwa declaring the Islamic Kingdom cannot be ruled by a woman ruler. As a result, the Sultanah was deposed from the throne and replace with a male Sultan, Badr Alam.

Looking at the Arabic calligraphy used, its quite tricky as the calligraphy is compressed to fit on the coin face. However it has the resemblance to Thuluth & Sini. Or probably this is how Malay calligraphy was derived.

Obverse : فادك سر سلطانه عناية شاه    
                Paduka Sri Sultanah Inayah Shah
Reverse : زكية الدين بردولة شاه
                Zakiat Ad Din Berdaulat Shah

Aceh is a state located at the northern end of Sumatra island ( Indonesia). It is also known by its Arabic honorific Darus Salam ( Abode of Peace) from 1511-1959 CE.
Aceh's origins are unquestionably Cham, as the Champa king Syah Pau Kubah sent his son Syah Pau Ling to rule over Aceh when the capital Vijaya in 1471 AD, was sacked by the Vietnamese Le Dynasty.
The Sultanate of Aceh was founded in 1511 CE after the fall of Pasai Sultanate by Sultan Ali Mughayat Shah. It’s presumed that he is the same person as Syah Pau Ling who converted to Islam.
The Sultanate lasted till 1903 when the last Aceh Sultan Muhammad III Daud Shah Johan Berdaulat surrendered to Dutch occupation.

See my other coin below :
Sultanah Inayat

Obv:  فادك سر سلطانه عناية شاه    
          Paduka Sri Sultanah Inayah Shah

Rev: زكية الدين بردولة شاه
          Zakiat Ad Din Berdaulat Shah
Weight : 0.60 gm
Dim : 14mm
Date : 1678 - 1688 CE
Rarity :
Denom : Mas
Material : Gold
Reference : A 19a type 4 pg 179 ( Jaarboek Voor Munt-en Penningkunde)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ancient Manuscript Review 193 : Antique Syriac / Aramaic / Garshuni Christian Manuscript Fragments from 16-18th Century CE

These are some fragments from various topics of Christianity written in Syriac Serto Script. Some written in Arabic Language and some in Syriac's.
Similar fragments can be found in below link
Syriac Fragments

Title Page : Nil
Content    :  Catholics content on Rome Church
Date         : 16-18th CE
Copyist    : Anonymous
Patron      : Nil
Origin      : Diyerbakir, Turkey
Place acquired : Istanbul
Illuminations : Nil
Calligraphy : Syriac Serto
Number of lines :  16-17 per page
Inks          : Main text in black with some headings in red
Punctuation: Diacritical marks in black
Frame       :  Nil
History of Manuscript : from a private library in Diyerbakir
Number of folios : 4 ff
Support of writing : yellowish laid paper
Gatherings : N/A
Catchwords : Nil
Dimensions : 16.5 cm x 11.0 cm
Binding   : Nil
Estimated Market Price :
Purchased Price : USD
Remarks :

Ancient Coin Review 108 : Bendahara Sewa Raja Wan Ahmad Quarter Tampang 1295 AH ( Sultanate Pahang)

This is a another rare tampang coin from Bendahara Sewa Raja Wan Ahmad . However in 1882 CE he was proclaimed as the first Sultan of Pahang claiming the title Sultan Wan Ahmad AL Muazzam Shah.He used to be Bendahara from 1863-1881AD.
This coin was struck in 1295 AH ( 1878 CE)
Pahang is one of the states in Malaysia. Historically it became part of Malacca Sultanate in 1470 CE till 1641 CE. It was later ruled by Johor Sultanate till 1853 CE then it became independent.
Below is the location of Pahang in relation to other states in Malaysia.
Similar Tampang can be found in below link
Pahang Tampang
Pahang Tampang
Pahang Tampang
Pahang Tampang

Obv : Floral Design
Rev: Malik Al Adil tarikh kepada bulan Rejab sanat 1295
Weight : 13 gm
Dim : 28 x 28 x 8mm
Date : 1295 AH ( 1878 CE)
Rarity : RR
Denom : 1/4 tampang = 1/100 Dollar           
Material : Tin
Reference : SS20  pg 143 ( The Encyclopedia of the Coins)
Purchase Price : RM 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ancient Artifact Review 76 : Antique Aramaic Christianity Incantation Bowl ( 1-6 Century CE)

I purchased the incantation bowl pieces from EBAY few years ago. The reason I purchased this piece because there are Aramaic inscriptions on them since I am very much fascinated with Semitic languages. This language is the language spoken by Prophet Jesus pbuh during his era.
This piece most likely from 1-6 Century CE.
This is a fragment the Incantation bowl with readable Aramaic in many lines. Dimension approx. 94mm x 45mm

LCSS Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies ( London, Birmingham & Oxford)

I attended a short Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies last month at London, Birmingham and Oxford Universities. I am extremely happy with the course and the workshop. All lectures are very helpful in equipping me with basic knowledge on Ottoman manuscripts and archieves.
Eventhough my Ottoman manuscripts are just a few dozens from my entire collections, I took this course with the purpose to understand the method of recording and archiving Ottoman manuscripts. Most importantly, I was there to build a network with professionals, experts, academicians and institutions.
Some of the key lecturers that I met there were :
Dr Fred Anscombe, Head of Dept of History, Classics & Arche University of London
Dr Nikolaj Serikoff, Asian Collections Librarian, Wellcome Library
Dr. Juliette Desplat, Head Modern Overseas Records, The National Archieves
Ruth Selman, University of Roehampton
Karima Benaicha, Head of Library, Al Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation
Celeste Gianni, Library Assistand, Al Furqan
Dr. Marios Hadjianastasis, Academic Practise Advisor, Birmingham University
Lydia Wright, Librarian, Oxford University
Alasdair Watson, Bahari Curator, Oxford University
Dr. Zeynep Yurekli-Gorkay, Assc Prof, Oxford University

The coordinator, Rosa Vercoe has successfully organized this training programme under LCSS, London Centre Social Studies. I am looking forward to attending any future courses which related to my collections.

Ancient Manuscript Review 192 : Antique Torah Judaism Book ( 1861 CE)

This is a lithographed Judaism book, Thora Tom. II. Printed in Hebrew language. I bought this book in Istanbul.This Torah was used by Jewish community in Turkey. Covers made of marble paper wrapped around hard boards though the spine is made of leather. This book is pocket size of 175mm x115mm.This book is dated 1861 CE and was printed in Vienna.
See my similar book in below link
Mini Thora Tom II


Title Page : Thora Tom. II
Content    :  Old Testament
Date         : 1861 CE
Copyist    :
Patron      :
Origin      : Vienna
Place acquired :Vienna
Illuminations : Nil
Calligraphy : Hebrew script
Number of lines :26 lines per page
Inks          : Main text in black
Punctuation: Nil
Frame       :  Nil
History of Manuscript : Purchased from antique store in Istanbul
Number of folios : 216 ff
Support of writing : light yellowish European paper
Gatherings : N/A
Catchwords : nil
Dimensions : 175cm x 115 cm
Binding   : marble paper wrapped on hard board
Estimated Market Price :
Purchased Price : USD
Remarks :

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ancient Artifact Review 75 : Antique Turkish Shoe Shine Set late 20th Century

This is an old Shoe Shine Set from Turkey. There are 12 bottles in total of various sizes. The box set has a decorated brass layer on the front and the top whereas the inner body is made of zinc I believed. 2 small drawers are fitted at the back. A shoe holder is fitted at the top of this set.
All the bottles have a mark Altin Yunus at the bottom. Hence I believe this set was made in Altin Yunus Turkey.
Bought from Dubai and estimated from 20th Century.

Dim : 600mm in length and 220mm in height
Date : 20th Century CE
Material : Brass / Tin /Wood / Glass
Origin : Altin Yunus, Turkey

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ancient Coin Review 107 : Antique Silver Rupee of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan year 1051 AH ( 1641 CE)

This is a silver coin or denominated as Rupee from the time of Emperor Shah Jahan of Mughal Empire who reigned India from 1628 - 1658 CE. The coin dated 1051 AH.

Below is an excerpt from Wiki :

Mirza Shahabuddin Baig Muhammad Khan Shah Jahan (Urdu: شہاب الدین محمد شاہجہاں‎; b. 5 January 1592 – 31 January 1666) was the fifth Mughal Emperor of India from 1628 to 1658. Born Prince Khurram, he was the son of Emperor Jahangir (31 August 1569 – 7 November 1627) and his Hindu Rajput wife, Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani (13 May 1573 – 18 April 1619).
He was chosen as successor to the throne after the death of his father in 1627. He was considered one of the greatest Mughals of the Timur family. Like his grandfather, Akbar, he was eager to expand his vast empire.
While he was encamped in Baghdad, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV is known to have met the Shah Jahan's ambassadors: Mir Zarif and Mir Baraka, who presented 1000 pieces of finely embroidered cloth and even armor. Murad IV presented them with the finest weapons, saddles and Kaftans and ordered his forces to accompany the Mughals to the port of Basra, where they set sail to Thatta and finally Surat.[citation needed]
Shah Jahan had exchanged ambassadors and documents with the Murad IV, it was through these exchanges led by the Mughal ambassador Sayyid Muhiuddin and his counterpart the Ottoman ambassador Arsalan Agha, that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan received Mimar Yusuf, Isa Muhammad Effendi and Ismail Effendi, two Turkish architects and students of the famous Koca Mimar Sinan Agha. Both of them later comprised among the Mughal team that would design and build the Taj MahalIn 1658, he fell ill and was confined by his son and successor Aurangzeb in Agra Fort until his death in 1666.
The period of his reign was considered the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, built in 1632–1654 as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1 September 1593 – 17 June 1631).

See below my other Mughal coin from Emperor Aurangzeb
Mughal Aurangzeb Coin

Obverse : sahab-e-qiran sani badshah ghazi
Reverse : Contains kalima sahada in square around four khalifas name. Year 1051

Weight : 11.37gm
Diam : 22mm
Denom : Rupee
Metal : AR
Year : 1051 AH ( 1641 CE)
Mint : Allahabad
Rarity : Purchased Price : USD
Ref :

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ancient Artifact Review 74 : Antique Islam Malay Bugis Silver Amulet Disc / Chest Ornament / Kawari 19th Century CE

This is an amulet called Kawari originated from Sulawesi island of Bugis tribe.
This silver medallion is inscribed with the word " Allah" in arabic on both sides. It is worn over the neck of a boy or a girl and in pair with one is positioned on the chest whereas the matching pair at the back especially a toddler. Its widely used in the past by Muslim Bugis children. The usage of Kawari is believed to spiritually guard the child from evil spirits and harmful forces.
Their jewellery are mostly embellised with delicate and meandering scrolls depicting plants, flowers or stylized Arabic script executed in the filigree and granulation workmanship. Look at below picture of this little girl in traditional costume of Kawari, chest ornament and  Caping, modesty plate. 
The Caping can be seen below and details on my previous entry at Bugis Caping

The Kawari in my possession is made of silver and believed from 19th century CE.
Measured at 50mm in diameter.