niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
metalman
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niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:59 pm

hello, I'm new to forum. have this small engraved and niello cup with bird on handle I don't much understand. the 3 marks are on the inside of base around a raised threaded stud and one of the panels seems to have a martial emblem, possibly with crescents on tips of flags. diam. of bowl is 5.2 cms. I would be grateful for any info offered. sorry about cropped images, had problems getting them down in size. can add others.
many thanks

Image

Image

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WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:26 am

Good morning,

Would it be possible to shoot the calligraphy on either and/or both sides of the crest, want to get a better look to see if a friend can translate it. It may actually be Turkish,the three different characters on the bottom are another indicator but let's be sure.

Warren

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:35 am

Ps: please do roll the cup back so your getting a straight shot, the curver in the bowl makes these small images hard to see.

Thanks
W

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:45 am

thanks for reply. yes I will photograph again. had problems with image size and lost definition as well. do you think any of the marks could be Armenian or Russian as there is a 'U' with scroll. just a shot in the dark.

davidross
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby davidross » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:39 pm

I am not familiar with Armenian silver, but it is an interesting possibility. The calligraphy on the wall of the cup would seem to be for an Arab market, though.

I agree with Warren, this cup reminds me of Turkish work from the first half of the 20th century, and the mix of Arab and Roman marks also suggests Turkey. I have also seen quite a bit of niello work like this from Iraq from the same time period, so I think that the Middle Eastern section is probably most appropriate.

In my opinion, this cup cannot be Russian, and if this post is moved to the Russian section, I fear there will be more than a few contributors there who will reiterate that assertion in the strongest terms possible.

Obviously, a clear reading of the marks will provide the most definitive answer, so my musings should be only be taken as suggestions for areas of research. As Warren has indicated, clearer photos of the marks and calligraphy will surely be helpful.

Regards,
DR

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:57 pm

new picsImageImageImageImageImage just getting the hang of transferring images from photobucket. the bird's eyes are very small turquoise stones. is this any help? many thanks

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:23 pm

adding the new closeup of marks. thank you

Image

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:33 pm

Much better thanks,

In the sunburst at the top of the coat of arms appears to be an Ottoman Sultan's Tughra or calligraphic signature. The calligraphy on either side may or may to be short passages from the Holy Qur'an. Whether they are or not they are most likely written in Ottoman Turkish using Arabic letters. Let me pass these along to see if this gentleman has time to look at them.

Warren

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:43 pm

Yes thank you that last shot helps too.

Do take a few minutes to review the Turkish marks posted here:
http://www.925-1000.com/foreign_marks3.html

These may not actually be manufactured during the Turkish Empire which ended in 1923 but let's see where it goes.

W

Damon
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby Damon » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:10 am

The Ottoman script on the base reads - Van - a city in eastern Turkey.

Prior to WWI it had a sizeable Armenian population.

I am sure the other stamp with non Roman letters is Armenian.

Don't understand the inscriptions on the side of the vessel.

Damon

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:20 am

Thank you Damon,

Are you Turkish my friend? Do you think that this cup most likely recreating in an older style is for local consumption or as a tourist piece?

Warren

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:48 am

thanks for the replies. close up of star . looks like the all seeing eye underneath possibly?

Image

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:33 am

Do take a good look at the link I posted above, it will show you a good clear example of a Tughra. Are there any other marks on the bottom or in the design of the cup?

Let me give this a little context. It became standard practice in the Ottoman Empire to use different languages and calenders to administer this huge geographic land mass. This practice on some level carried on into the Republic as you see in the bottom of the cup; Ottoman, Armenian, and Roman characters. What the cup appears to lack if it was created in the time of the empire is a pressed Tughra mark, the 800/900 mark, and/or the zigzag scratch mark also commonly seen.

The Holy Qur'an was written in Arabic of the particular tribe, the Quraysh, of which the Prophet (SAW) belonged. For the 1.7 billion Muslims living in the world today Arabic is not our primary language, as it was for the Ottomans. Turkic languages are in themselves vast, many forms. One method was to use Arabic characters to write the most common form used by the Ottoman elite.

Arabs or other Muslims who are Arabic literate or more precisely fluent in Qur'anic Arabic can not read it. The numerous accent marks contained in Qur'anic Arabic enable all Arabic speakers whether you live in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, etc to be able to read and understand it clearly. Arabic like Hebrew is a very flexible language open to interpretation. That's a whole different issue.

Part of the reason I was asking Damon if he was Turkish was many Turks today have not been taught Ottoman Turkish, it is not used to the best of my knowledge unless your a scholar or calligrapher. The passages on the outside of the bowl may be Ottoman, at the time they were inscribed the language may have still be in use.

I pray you found this useful.
Warren

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:31 am

Thank you very much for your comprehensive knowledge. I have been over the cup with a strong magnifying glass and cannot find any additional marks. from what you say I presume the cup was made after the ottoman empire. would you agree that the script mark is Van? without a silver mark I am presuming it is silver due to its high level of craftsmanship. perhaps I should get it tested. also would this cup have had a liner as i can't understand why it has a stud in base. many thanks indeed

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:13 pm

I myself do not speak Turkish or Arabic, will shoot this off to a knowledgable friend. This would have most likely had a glass liner or insert. Since we don't currently know what exactly what the other two marks mean and the absence of clear silver marks its hard to say what it is made of.

W

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:56 am

many thanks.

Damon
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby Damon » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:39 pm

The word in the third image from the top is "ofiyet" (modern Turkish spelling) which means "good health" or "bon appetit"

Definitely more secular than sacred.

If I figure out the other word, I will post.

Damon

WarrenKundis
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby WarrenKundis » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:50 pm

Hi Damon,

That's what my friend stated: afiyet olsun was how he spelled it. Did not concur on Van but did not explain.

Was interesting that the Armenian letters SU transliterated S as (T) with a numerical value of 4000, this form of U as (a) with a value of 1. Have no idea what that means. DA did not appear In this alphabet.

I'll leave you to the rest Damon, a pleasure.

W

metalman
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby metalman » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:42 am

thanks very much for your interest and continued help with this piece. yesterday I have found a similar cup on web, but much finer, with a readable niello tugra in same position, very similar calligraphic cartouches, with similar translations. it was in a Christies interiors sale, south ken. London. lot 371 26 Nov. 2013 goggled 'silver niello van cup' and scrolled down images quite a way to make link. there were a couple of others with bird handles, d.

oliverjn
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Re: niello cup. help requested for an i.d. and marks

Postby oliverjn » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:40 pm

Hi,
I am new to this forum but feel I may be of some help with this item.
It is indeed made by an Armenian artisan working in Turkey around the lake Van area in S.E.Anatolia.This area is the Armenian area of Turkey and many artisans settled there in the early 20thc and all good works from this area are marked with the Van character.
By the way there is no Tugra present on this piece and one would not expect to find such a mark on Armenian silver.
Hope this has been a help
I have an extremely unusual piece of early silver niello work; a bracelet of early date which I will open this to the forum tomorrow when I have picked out some good photos.


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