Divit Pencase Inkwell Qalamdan Silver Plated, circa 1861-1876, Ottoman Empire


This Is a 19th Century Turkish silver plated "divit pencase, inkwell" (Qalamdan) from the ottoman empire. It dates circa 1860's--1870's. It consists of an inkwell and a pen compartment.
This divit is of typical tubular form with an interior cavity to store a reed pen.
Attached to the body is an inkwell with floral and geometric engraved design. Inside the inkwell would have been a sponge like raw silk fiber material to absorb the ink so it would not drip out, and to provide just the right amount of ink for the pen.
Divits were used by the Turks in central Asia during the 19th century, and carried by every educated man. They were often carried in a sash or belt.
During the Ottoman times convening members of the Council Of State put their "divits" in the care of a "devatdar" who served as their scribes during meetings.
Of significance to note is that Arabic writing is the form used today in the Western world. In the Ottoman Empire a great deal of pride was in one's ability to "scribe", and his familiarity with the written word.

I have not been able to locate any markings, nor can I interpret the decoration. (see below)

Note: This Divat belonged to my wife’s great grandfather who was a Greek. He was a well to do man who left his estate to my wife’s grandfather. In 1921 my father-in-law and my wife’s grandfather escaped from Istanbul in a coach through the night to Greece. They feared for their lives since Greeks and Armenians were being persecuted by the Turks. They could only take with them what they could carry on the coach. This Divit was one of those articles. This was the period 1919-1922 (The Turkish National Movement) when the Ottoman empire was being dissolved and was to later become the Republic of Turkey. What I know about the piece is the information that has been handed down.

This is the larger size divit known as a "battal divit".
The dimensions are: 10 3/4" long (27.5 centimeters) overall
2" wide (5 centimeters) overall
2 5/8" high (6.75 centimeters) overall

Tubular section is: 1 3/16" wide (3 centimeters)
Inkwell measures: 2" high (5 centimeters)
2" wide (5 centimeters)
2" deep (5 centimeters)

The weight of the divit is 464 grams (which is about one pound).

Excellent condition. Minor dent to back (See images). Some scratches consistent with age.
Both the lid of the pen case and the inkwell close snugly.

Dealer Clive Devenish Antiques
Date: Circa 1870
Origin Turkey
Measurements 10 3/4" long
Price $1450
Inventory View Dealer's Show Inventory
Request more information via email
Website http://www.clivedevenishantiques.com/home.php
Contact Clive Devenish, 510.414.4545 or  clivedevenishantiques@comcast.net

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