I have noticed a lot of new members joining in the last year or so,
and I hope someone new, or “vintage” may be able to help me with
some Persian Turquoise I have.
I post this request every year or so, so some of you may have seen
I purchased a large gem collection a while ago, from a gem dealer
who worked in England in the '30’s thru the early '50’s. The stones
I am looking for help with were collected during that time. These
stones were purchased in England, from refugees from Persia, now
They are turquoise, which has been cut and polished into cabachons.
Then they were incised with inscriptions in Farsi, which shares the
Arabic alphabet. These inscriptions were then rubbed with gold leaf,
which adhered to the rough stone surface of the incisised Arabic
letters, and also to some of the pits and other imperfections of the
stones’ polished surfaces.
The polished surfaces did not accept the gold embossing, but the
incised areas did, so they were left with a polished, smooth
turquoise face with 24 K gold embossed inscriptions.
What I am wondering is if anyone has ever seen these before, or if
anyone has any clues to their original purpose or significance. I do
not want to try to market items which would offend any religious or
cultural sensitivity. But I believe that they were intended as
expressions of affection between friends and lover, and as talismans
of love and luck which were associated with certain festivals or
holidays. This is what I was told by the person from whom I
I have seen examples of similar work executed on a much larger scale
in museums. The Brithish Museum of Natural History has a few
examples and the Austrian Museum has a very large piece which was
presented as a gift to Ferdinand the Great from the Shah of Persia
in the early 1900’s.
More photos and more background is available, if you
reply directly to me at @Mike_Kelley1
I’m hoping that someone will have seen these before and will be able
to fill me in on their history and meaning.