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Presenting an antique 19th century .800-.900 fine silver Divit Qalamdan from the Ottoman Empire (circa 1880). They were traveling quill pen holders with attached inkwells carried by scribes serving both merchants and government officials throughout the region. The divit was typically a tubular cavity to store the quill or reed pen. Attached to the body is the inkwell (Qalamdan) that would have been filled with raw silk fibers to absorb the ink so it would not drip out and to provide a controlled amount of ink for the pen. Although brass and bronze versions of the Qalamdan and Divit were relatively common, the silver ones were far more elaborate in the hand stamped details and reserved for only the “elite”.

This Divit Qalamdan came from the estate of Mikha’il Na’ima (1889-1988); a Lebanese born author, poet and philosopher who, along with Khalil Gibran, led the intellectual and cultural renaissance movement of Arab literature through the New York Pen League. He was a poet, storyteller and playwright, both literary critic and columnist, and was pensive in life and human psychology. He was fluent in three languages: English, Russian and Arabic and among his best known books is The Book of Mirdad.

This Divit Qalamdan is inscribed with his name (in Arabic) and clearly bears both the maker’s mark and assay mark.

Please click “Image Gallery” for additional pictures of the hallmarks and extra detail on the piece.

Measurements

  • Divit
    • Length: 240.0mm (9½ inches)
    • Width: 20.8mm (.82 inches)
    • Height: 35.6mm (1.40 inches)

     

  • Qalamdan
    • Length: 47.5mm (1.87 inches)
    • Width: 35.6mm (1.40 inches)
    • Height: 41.9mm (1.65 inches)

     

  • Weight: 370.5 grams (11.91 ozt)
  • Hallmark: Fully Hallmarked (see photos for details)
  • Condition: Superb Antique Condition with minor surface scratches
Weight 2 lbs