A Very Fine 19th Century Ottoman Brass Qalamdan Divit Traveling Inkwell Pen Case
Stock Number: FG_22016
This magnificent Turkish brass traveling quill or reed pen holder (Divit) with attached inkwell (Qalamdan) is from the period of the Ottoman Empire. These pen cases were used by official calligraphers and itinerary scribes, who would travel for business or sit near the city gate and write legal or administrative documents for illiterate citizens. These solid brass cases, sometimes highly decorated such as this one, were designed to be tucked into hanging under the belt. Handmade with beautiful deep engraved inscriptions and floral decorations allowed by Islam. The lidded pen case and seashell-like cupped inkwell were made to be portable and protective of their delicate contents.
Lenrth: 26 cm
Country of manufacture
The Divit Qalamdan was used by calligraphers to store their brushes or their feathers in the long pen box, and dry ink in the square container. Their use was very frequent during travels, and they were thus often carried by scribes serving merchants and representatives of the government.
The Inkwell and holder are heavy and solid. Age-related wear appears in places, and traces of ink are found in the container. The copper hinges function well. The item has a very attractive stable patina but no chlorides or other deteriorating issues.
Ask the Dealer
Gilgamesh was the mythological hero of the cultures of ancient West Asia, who set out on a journey in which he sought youth and eternal life.
Fleaglass Gilgamesh is located in Israel. As an archaeologist researching the material culture of the distant past and using the microscope as a major research tool, for more than two decades I have collected microscopes from the first 300 years of existence of this amazing tool and researched the cultural context of their use. Passion has become an obsession and I cultivate the full and almost unique West Asian collection of historical microscopes. Respectively, I put up for sale surplus or interesting items from the collection. I would be happy to advise any interested collector free of charge. Needless to say, I would love to send photos, information and bibliographic references, and discuss the sale details of the items offered here for sale.