cigar holder in amber and gold with sterling watch fob holder. Set hallmarked
to Birmingham for 1862. A fine and scarce matched set of good age and
made with the finest materials. $225.00.
A Persian carnelian and silver seal from the 19th century. These were
carried by all imporant Persians and are still used today. It is either
the man's name, the name of a Moslem saint, or a phrase from the Koran.
This one is unusual in having the entire seal in such good condition.
An impressive WW II pilot’s A-2 flight jacket and much more. Lt.
Belmont joined the Army Air Force in late 1943, receiving one of the last
A-2s issued. The jacket is in very fine condition with new, original equipment
wool wrist elastic. The lining is old and likely original, but the label
has been lost. The jacket comes with Belmont’s dog tag and a British
8th Air Force type whistle, photo ID from c. 1945-46, navigator’s
flight diploma and four photos of Belmont with his plane, instructors
and service buddies. Size is c. 38 and the jacket is in wearable condition.
For photos of all the items go to Lt. Belmont’s
“Khatt-e Ghubar,” or Persian “dust writing,” of the late 18th century on a carnelian amulet remounted as a ring. From the effects of Lt. Kirby of HM 78th Regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders. Said to have been previously taken by him from the body of a Persian officer at the battle of Kooshab in Persia in 1856 during the British-Persian War. Evidently mounted as a ring by Kirby afer returning to India to fight in the Great Mutiny of 1857. Kirby later died of wounds received in the first relief of the Residency at Lucknow in 1857. Originally the ring was with his complete correspondance back to his family in Britiain, along with his commission documents and uniform bills.
The stone is an oval shaped carnelian amulet with raised text set within the flame of the saints, bordered by petals of flowers made up of even smaller calligraphy. This tiny Amulet is just 16 mm X 12 mm in size and it is scarcely possible to read the text with the naked eye. Carnelian is a relatively hard stone and hence makes carving more difficult but the design stronger and more durable. The mounting is an unmarked, apx. 14K gold bezel ring as was common in Victorian India for signets. The bezel was very worn when acquired and was replaced with a new 14K bezel in 2002 so the stone would stay in place. It is otherwise original, even if in an unexciting mounting. (A scholar of Persian who saw it much enjoyed the stone, but found the mounting unworthy of the stone. Such is the price of historical authenticity.)
This is one of the best examples we have ever seen of Khatt e Ghubar, or Calligraphy of Dust, both from the exceptional quality of the carving and its small size. Khatt e Ghubar is usually done on a much larger surface and even so is a difficult task; in ring size it is especially difficult and praiseworthy. This form of Calligraphy gives the effect of a pictorial image, but when seen up close it is composed of very tiny calligraphy. Even more incredible is that it is not engraved in intaglio so that the fine lines are in protected grooves, but has the carving as tiny raised designs. It is possibly the most detailed and difficult stone engraving of any place or period. Some other, larger examples can be seen at the Columbia University Islamic calligraphy site of Prof. Francis Pritchett (items 2, 5, and 6).
For orders, questions or suggestions please contact Stephen Herold. List the number and identity of any pieces desired.