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!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 148 : Antique Batak Pustaka / Pustaha Bark Manuscript ( 18th Century)

This is my another manuscript of Batak tribe ( Indonesia) made of tree bark. The bast of a tree is pulled off in long strips and then prepared and folded like an accordion.
I couldnt understand the content of this manuscript however from the book "Illuminations The writing Traditions of Indonesia" this manuscrit is called pustaha or pustaka. It contains texts on the tribal rituals, oracles & medicine recipes.
This manuscript is covered with wooden covers and secured with a woven rope. This manuscript if unfolded is about 252 cm. Dimension is 7 cm by 10 cm.
This Pustaka was written in Batak script and in this specific manuscript only ones who are trained could understand the content. According to Van De Tuuk, this text is composed in the language code referred to as Hata Poda.
See below my other Pustaha

Antique Batak Manuscript

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Batak Pustaka Manuscript
Content : Batak Pustaka
Dim : 252cm x 10 cm x 7 cm
Date : 18-19th century
Copyist : anonymous
Origin : Sumatra Island ( Indonesia)
Calligraphy : Batak Script
Design : Written in batak scripts in black
Purchased Price :US

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 147 : Antique Seljuq Seljuk Quran Bifolio 11th Century

This is one my rarest findings - Seljuq Quran manuscript!! Though it is just a bifolio, it costed me a fortune. The edge of the bifolio was severely damaged by book worms. The Quran was written in Muhaqqaq script in black ink with title in gold. The verse marker was also gilded with gold in floral motif. In the margin on both sides, there are a few gold ornamented medallions.
Seljuk empire was founded by Seljuq Bey in 1037CE stretching from Aral sea region to Iran & Anatolia. It reigned from 1037CE till 1194CE.
During the era, the link between Turk & Persian culture & tradition was fused.

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Seljuk Quran Bifolio
Content : Quran
 Dim :  380mm  x  280mm (bi folio)
Date : 11th Century
Copyist : Anonymous
Origin : Anatolia
Calligraphy : Muhaqqaq
Design : Written in Muhaqqaq script in black & title in gold.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 146 : Antique Hebrew Bible Leviticus / Zohar Vayika manuscript from Yemen ( 18th Century)

This is a part of bible Leviticus ( Zohar Vayika) written in Hebrew. According to the seller who understands Hebrew, the manuscript is written by David Obadia Saadi in Yemen. Undated but estimated from 18th Century.
Zohar Vayika ( Leviticus) is part of Zohar Kabbalah of Judaism. Insyallah I will find some time to write about this bible.

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Hebrew Bible manuscript
Content : Part of Leviticus / Zohar Vayika
 Dim :  290mm  x  130mm
 Date : 18th Century
Copyist : David Obadia Saadi
Origin : Yemen
Calligraphy : Ibrani / Hebrew
Design :
 Purchased Price :US

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ancient Artifact Review 34 : Antique Arabic Carved Wooden Window Shutter ( 19th Century )

This is a pair of beautifully carved with Arabic script wooden window shutter. I purchased this window from an antique shop in Middle East in 2014. According to him it was acquired from Egypt. Undated but probably from 19th Century.

Made of wood and each shutter has 3 panels with hand carved Arabic scripts which I couldn't figure out what they means. I hope someone can figure out for me this script.
The border of the panels as well as the shutters are engraved with floral motif.
This window has a dimension of 93 x 63 mm.
Compare the design of this window shutter with my Malay Carved door in below link
Antique Malay Door 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 145 : Antique Malay Prayers Manuscript ( 19th Century)

This is a small manuscript on various Islamic topics written in an old Malay language. Acquired from Central Market in Malaysia in 2014. Undated but it is estimated from 19th Century.
Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Malay Manuscript
Content : Islamic prayer, Fiqh, Talisman & selected Quranic verses
Dim :  10mm  x  80mm x 10mm
Date : 18-19th century
Copyist : anonymous
Origin : Malaysia
Calligraphy : Malay
Design : Written in Malay scripts in red & black in Arabic & Malay language
Purchased Price :US

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ancient Artifact Review 33 : Antique Indian Mughal Pandan / Betel Nut Container 19th Century

This is a betel nut container or Pandan originally from India but purchased in Bangladesh.
Made of brass and fully decorated with foliates & animals motives.Its undated but the seller told me it is from the Mughal era circa 19th century.
Pandan is a word in Urdu or Hindi.This container is used to store betel leaf, areca palm nut, lime & dry tobacco.
Compare with my other Betel Nut Container
Malay Tepak Sirih

Artifact Specification :

Dim : 100mm x 150mm
Date : 19th Century CE
Material : Brass
Origin :  India

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ancient Artifact Review 32 : Antique Indian Mughal Padlock / Round Spring Lock & Key 1896 CE

This is an antique padlock with a key purchased from a bazaar in Bangladesh. It is a typical Indian Mughal padlock with date 1896 CE inscribed in Arabic on one side. Made of brass and beautifully inscribed with foliate motives on both sides.

Artifact Specification

Dim : 50mm x 30mm
Date : 1896 CE
Material : Brass
Origin :India

Ancient Manuscript Review 144 : Antique Ottoman Printed Quran 1351AH / 1932 CE ( Kadirgali Mustafa Nazif Effendi)


This is a large size of Ottoman printed Quran dated  1351 AH copied by Sayed Mustafa Nazif which is also known as Kadirgali Mustafa Nazif Efendi.
It's rare to find a Quran in this size while most Quran either written or printed during that time is of a smaller size. This Quran is of 370mm x 280mm x 50mm.
Covers are beautifully embossed leather on hard boards.
On the first page, a table of contents was written and dated to 1374 AH by Jamaludin Bin Shamsuddin. This Quran is printed in black ink with 15 lines per page. 
In Ebay I have seen a smaller size of printed Quran from the same copyist on sale for USD275.
 Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Ottoman Printed Quran
Content : Complete Quran
 Dim :  370mm  x  280mm x 50 mm
 Date : 1351 AH ( 1932CE)
Copyist : Mustafa Nazif
Origin : Turkey
Calligraphy : Naskh
Design : Printed in Naskh scripts in black 
 Purchased Price :US

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 143 : Antique Ottoman Prayer Manuscript ( 19th Century)

This is an Ottoman prayer manuscript, undated but estimated from 19th Century. The manuscripts contains selected verses from Quran, the 99 names of Allah and some talismans. Written in Naskh script and every page gold gilded. Leather covers with gold embossed on the rims.

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Ottoman Prayer manuscript
Content : Selected Quranic verses, prayers & Talismans
 Dim :  150mm  x  100mm
 Date : 19th Century
Copyist : Unknown
Origin : Turkey
Calligraphy : Naskh
Design : Written in Naskh scripts in black & verse marker in gold. Border is gold gilded
Purchased Price :US

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Antique Artifact Review 31 : Antique Javanese Betel Nut Container / Tepak Sirih ( 19th Century)

In the past, chewing Areca palm nut wrapped in betel leaf  was widespread in South East Asia.
Nowadays this habit is gradually forgotten by especially younger generation.
However to Malays, Betel took on a ritual meaning to a traditional marriage. The betel nut container or tepak sirih would be exchanged between the bride & groom family as mutual acceptance of the marriage.
This brass tepak sirih in review is from Java Island Indonesia.

Dim : 30mm x 20cm
Date : 19th Century CE
Material : Brass
Origin : Java island, Indonesia

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ancient Manuscript Review 142 : Antique Ottoman Qur'an Fragments 24k Gold Illuminated ( 1101 AH = 1690 CE)

These are some folios of handwritten Quran which I can saved from Istanbul Bazaar almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately it is not a complete Quran. It was signed and dated to 1101 AH by Hafiz Ibrahim Al Diyarbakir. The borders and headings are gold gilded with 24K gold.

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Ottoman Quran Fragments
Content : Quran
 Dim :  140mm  x  100mm ( folio)
Date : 1101 AH ( 1690 CE)
Copyist : Hafiz Ibrahim Al Diyarbakir
Origin : Turkey
Calligraphy : Naskh
Design : Written in Naskh scripts in black & diacritical marks in red. 24K gold gilded
Purchased Price :US

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ancient Coin Review 66 : Antique Biblical Widow's Mite / Lepton of Alexander Jannaues King of Judaea ( 103-76 BCE)

This is a bronze mite / lepton minted during the time of Alexander Jannaues, King of Judaea 103-76 BC.
According to Hendin description, this mite is identified as type 1150c, minted in Jerusalem 95-76 BC.

"Because the lepton (plural: lepta) and prutah (plural: prutot) were the lowest denomination coins that circulated in Jerusalem during Christ's lifetime, they are believed to be the coins referred to in the Biblical story of the poor widow. The lepta of Alexander Jannaeus are the most common and lowest cost possible "widow's mite" type. Although these coins were minted long before Christ's lifetime, they were still in circulation in the first century A.D. The actual size of a prutah is less than 1/2 inch in diameter. A lepton is usually about the same diameter as a pencil eraser. Since the lepton is the very smallest denomination, it is more likely the true "widow's mite." Lepta were often carelessly and crudely struck, usually off center and on small flans. Because they circulated for a long period, they are most often very worn and legends are usually illegible." ( edited ref Numiswiki)

This coin is particularly mentioned in the bible :

Mark 12:41-44New International Version (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Coin Specs

Item : A Mite / A Lepta
Obv : Star of eight rays and central pellet surrounded by diadem
Rev : Greek legendΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝ∆ΡΟΥ (of King Alexander), upside down anchor, dot border outside of legend.
Date :95-76 BC
Dim :12mm
Weight : 1.20gm
Denom : Lepton
Metal : AE
Rarity :
 Purchased Price : USD

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Antique Artifact Review 30 : Antique Belouch Prayer Rug ( 1731 CE)

This is an old rug belonged to Belouchi tribe dated 1731 CE. Belouchi tribe settles in the Northeastern Iran. This rug was acquired few years ago.

Item : Beloushi Prayer Rug
Date : 1731 CE
Dim : 1350mm x 780mm
Design : 3 Mihrabs design. Balushi wool with natural dye

Ancient Manuscript Review 141 : Antique Malay Manuscript ( 19th Century)

This is a manuscript on Arabic grammar written in an old Malay language. Acquired from Central Market in Malaysia in 2014. Some pages are burned due to the acid from the ink.

Undated but it is estimated from 18th Century based on the watermark on the paper showing a partial ProPatria.This paper was produced in Dublin Ireland circa 1760 CE. Hence it is safe to assume based on this watermark the age of this manuscript. The British Army might have brought the paper supply to Malaysia during the colonization era.

Manuscript Specs

Item : Antique Malay Manuscript
Content : Arabic Grammar
Dim :  200mm  x  170mm x 10mm
Date : 18th century
Copyist : anonymous
Origin : Malaysia
Calligraphy : Malay
Design : Written in Malay scripts in red & black with Arabic with some translation in Malay
Purchased Price :US

Ancient Artifact Review 29 : Antique Ottoman Calligraphers' Scissors (19th Century)

This pair of scissors is a part of calligrapher kits. The scribes normally have 2 type of scissors; the first one is called a calligrapher scissors and the second one is called book binder scissors.
The one in this review is the first one which is the calligrapher scissors.
This scissors is used to cut thin paper. It has long and thin blades so that it can cut a thin paper with a single move. When their blades are closed and on each other, they look as if to have a single blade.
The scissors in review is made of steel and ornamented in gold.The inlays have floral & foliate motives on both side of the scissors. Handles are made of brass.

Artifact Specs

Item : Antique  Ottoman Calligrapher Scissors
Description : A pair of steel scissors with floral & foliate gold inlaid and brass handles
Dim : 260mm
Date : 18-19th century
Origin : Turkey
Purchased Price :US