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, October 29, 2015

Ancient Artifact Review 54 : Antique Malay Ceremonial / Calligraphic Batik / Kain Arab / Ikat Kepala / Shroud / Batek Bersurek / Batik Bersurat ( early 20th Century)



 This is a very rare "Batik Bertulis" / " Kain Arab" or Calligraphic Batik. It is a long rectangular batik cloth made of cotton dyed in light brown with Arabic inscriptions. The calligraphy is almost illegible most likely painted by illiterate makers or served as talismanic purposes.The type of khat used most likely Thuluth.
I have tried my best to decipher some of the calligraphy and I welcome any comments.


This inscription is located at the middle of the cloth. It is very difficult to make out the phrase however I think it is the proclamation of Islamic Syahadah.
  
اشهد ان لا إله إلا الله واشهد ان محمد الرسول الله
 "I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshipped but Allah, and I bear witness the Muhammad is His servant and messenger.''


As for the shape of this calligraphy is formed, I believe this is a shape of a coffin. It could mean that this cloth is used to cover a coffin especially of a noble and an important person.


Another calligraphy form which is located at both end of the cloth clustering around like a flower is also indecipherable.I have extracted the form as above. However I think it is صلى الله على محمد which means Praise of Allah onto Muhammad.



Another calligraphy form as above is of a Tughra of Ottoman Sultan like in most other Batek Bersurat. Michael Rogers, a curator for Khalili Collection identified the tughras as the signs of the Ottoman Sultan, Abdul Hamid II ( 1876-1918).




As for the human form calligraphy in a prayer sitting position, I could match it with another well known calligraphy as a comparison. This calligraphy is also  Islam faith testimony.

اشهد ان لا إله إلا الله واشهد ان محمد الرسول الله
 "I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshipped but Allah, and I bear witness the Muhammad is His servant and messenger.''

As for the background calligraphy, comparing to some other cloths which I have seen in the catalog. The inscriptions are most probably :


الله يرزقها وهوا السمع العليم ما يفتح الله للنا من رحمة فلا مما لها وما يمسك فلا بعده وهو العزيز الحكيم

So the scribbles could be imitating this inscriptions.

This piece was used predominantly as a shawl or as a shroud . It can also serve as men's head cloth or "ikat kepala". Another usage might be as ceremonial hanging or wrapper for a Quran. It was found in Indonesia and most likely was produced there. I acquired this from a friend in Kuala Lumpur.
Ceremonial or Calligraphic batik is very rare to find. In an auction at Christie's, 3 similar batiks were sold at USD3358 under sale number 5682. Below is the link
Batik at auction

See my other similar cloth on :
Blue Calligraphy Batek
Red Calligraphy Batek



Dim : 238mm x 90mm
Date : early 20th Century
Material :hand drawn batik
Origin :  Malay Archipelago
Price : RM pr

Ancient Manuscript Review 167 : Antique Arabic Calligraphy / Khat ( 1379 AH = 1959 CE)


This is a small Arabic Calligraphy panel written on a red paper. I found this piece in one of my old Ottoman Qurans. It is written in Nastaliq script the verse بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم and dated 1379 AH (1959 CE). It was also signed by I couldn't decipher the name.

Manuscript Specs

Item : An Arabic Calligraphy
Content : بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Dim : 75x 30 mm
Date : 1379 AH
Copyist : indecipherable signature
Origin : Istanbul
Calligraphy: Nastaliq
Design : Red laid paper
Purchased Price :USD

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ancient Coin Review 86 : Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah 1- Johor Sultanate ( 1527 - 1564CE)


This is another gold coin from Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah era. He was the son of the last Malacca Sultan, Sultan Mahmud Shah who fled from Malacca after the invasion of Portugese. He became the first ruler of Johor Empire in 1527CE.he set up his capital at Johor Lama situated on the Johor river. He promoted foreign trade and was able to attract a fair amount of commerce. However Johor was captured by Acheh in 1564CE and became its vassal state until the collapse of the Acheh Empire in 1641CE.





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. I noticed also similar calligraphy was used on the tombstone ( pic edited from artmelayu.bs) of the same Sultan in Johor except all vertical alphabets were elongated to fill the column.



As for this coin, there are some errors in the words used.
Notice the Sultan is written ثلطان  instead of سلطان
The word choice mu'min for singular is used instead of mu'minin for plural
 My other coin is in below link
Sultan Alauddin I
Sultan Alauddin I

Octagonal gold coin ( kupang) under the rule of Johor Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah 1 ( 1527-1564AD).


Similar coin was sold for SGD750 ( USD550) in Lot 189 in the Collectibles Auction Asia (CAA) Auction 5/2015 held on 18 April 2015 at Landmark Village Hotel, Singapore.


Obv: Sultan Alaudin سلطان علاالدين
Rev: Khalifatul Mukmin Shah   خليفة الموْمن شاه
weight : 0.64gm
Dim : 12mm
Rarity : RR ( ref SS2)
Market Price : USD550

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ancient Artifact Review 53 : Antique Middle East / Persian / Mughal Silver Tea Pot ( 19th CE)





This is a silver tea pot probably from middle east or Farsi. When I purchased this pot from a dealer, I was told it's Khaliji. However I am in doubt when I saw the engravings with some animals resembling goats. Probably it's true it's Khaliji particularly Oman as the goat is its mascot. However for sure this pot is made for Muslim due to Arabic calligraphy engraved on the upper part of the pot. I haven't deciphered the inscriptions yet. Below are the inscriptions which I managed to extract from the pot. I welcome any help on this inscription.
 

Dim : 220mm x160mm x 180mm
Date :  19th Century
Material :Silver engraved with arabic calligraphy and animals/foliate motives
Origin :  Middle East
Price : 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ancient Coin Review 85 : Ingot / Bidor Perak ( Perak Sultanate 16-19th century)


 This is an Ingot or Bidor from Perak Sultanate as early as 16th century. This form of currency is called tin ingot. These ingots were casted of fixed weight and used for all major transactions in the bazaar as a form of currency.The value of each ingot depends upon its weight. By mid 1850's , ingots were gradually replaced by coinages.
Check my other Peraqk Bidor below
Perak Bidor

Obv : An ornamental design of four rosettes based on the tampok manggis
Rev:  Blank
Weight : TBA gm
Dim :  70 x 64 x 29 mm
Date : 16-19th century
Rarity : RRR
Denom :Ingot          
Material : Tin
Reference : SS34  pg 197 ( The Encyclopedia of the Coins)

Ancient Coin Review 84 : Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah 1- Johor Sultanate ( 1527 - 1564CE)


This is another gold coin from Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah era. He was the son of the last Malacca Sultan, Sultan Mahmud Shah who fled from Malacca after the invasion of Portugese. He became the first ruler of Johor Empire in 1527CE.he set up his capital at Johor Lama situated on the Johor river. He promoted foreign trade and was able to attract a fair amount of commerce. However Johor was captured by Acheh in 1564CE and became its vassal state until the collapse of the Acheh Empire in 1641CE.

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. I noticed also similar calligraphy was used on the tombstone ( pic edited from artmelayu.bs) of the same Sultan in Johor except all vertical alphabets were elongated to fill the column.



As for this coin, there are some errors in the words used.
Notice the Sultan is written ثلطان  instead of سلطان
The word choice mu'min for singular is used instead of mu'minin for plural
My other coin is in below link
Sultan Alauddin I

Octagonal gold coin ( kupang) under the rule of Johor Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah 1 ( 1527-1564AD).


Similar coin was sold for SGD750 ( USD550) in Lot 189 in the Collectibles Auction Asia (CAA) Auction 5/2015 held on 18 April 2015 at Landmark Village Hotel, Singapore.


Obv: Sultan Alaudin سلطان علاالدين
Rev: Khalifatul Mukmin Shah   خليفة الموْمن شاه
weight : 0.64gm
Dim : 12mm
Rarity : RR ( ref SS2)


Market Price : USD550