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Pen Box and Inkwell with Tughra of Ahmed III
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Pen Box and Inkwell with Tughra of Ahmed III


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The central role of writing in Islamic societies led to calligraphy becoming the most important visual art form. Portable pen cases (Turkish: divit) were made with great care and became objects of art themselves. Examples from the Ottoman lands are characterized by pronounced end pieces with an inkwell and a tubular arm that held the pens. Such pieces were often hinged and had a metal loop for attachment to a belt. The yatate and divit elevated pen cases to the status of wearable works of art. This object bears the tughra of Ahmad III (r. 1703-1730).
Conservation

The pen case was cleaned with organic solvents to remove old coating residues, tarnish and polish residues. The join between the inkwell and the pen tubes was stabilized with acrylic resin and Japanese tissue. A partial second stamped tughra was located on the central tube opposite the inkwell. A complete stamp was present on the underside of the inkwell. The double-walled well contains residues of a black ink (not analyzed). One cap for a tube is a restoration. The restoration can be distinguished by the lack of an assay zigzag mark, shorter length and crudely cast cap.

Date Description Narrative
12/31/1969TreatmentTreated for exhibition
1/01/1930Treatmentother
11/17/1981Examinationexamined for loan
Exhibitions
  • The World of Islam. Saint Mary's College, St. Mary's City. 1981.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Islamic Culture and the Medical Arts. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda. 1994.
  • Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
  • The Art of Writing Instruments from Paris to Persia. 2011.
  • Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. 2015-2016.
Provenance Purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Inscription] Stamped: Monogram (tughra) of Ahmad III
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
18th century (Ottoman)
Medium
silver with gilding and niello
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
57.627
Measurements
H: 1 3/4 x W: 2 1/4 x L: 9 1/8 in. (4.45 x 5.72 x 23.18 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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