Adapted from a book by Eric Ambler entitled “The Light of Day”. Do
you remember? The year… 1964. The film… with Melina Mercouri and
Maximilian Schell and Robert Morley and Peter Ustinov… Topkapi.
The plot: To steal the Emerald and Diamond studded dagger from the
Topkapi palace… in what is now Istanbul… and was then the
ancestral residence of the Ottoman dynasty.
Today the palace… now also a museum… located near the
Bosphoros… is a tourist’s vision of heaven. Walkways meander along
multiple entrances to sights to dazzle the senses. Do you dream of an
endless array of women in your life. Topkapi has a Harem enclosed
with extra high walls to ensure the protection of its inhabitants.
Today… alas… the rooms are empty… with no veiled sirens
beckoning alluringly to insatiable Sultans.
But all that makes for no never mind… for the interest of today’s
Tidbits lies is the Dagger itself. Ah… it is something to behold.
Three large emeralds on the hilt. Colombian I believe. Their
source… the age-old Muzo and Somondoco mines of Colombia. On the
top of the hilt … another emerald on a hinged cover which–when
flipped open–reveals a watch.
It’s a wonder to behold with an unsuspected side asset. After one has
stabbed one’s enemy with said emerald studded dagger… one has but
to flip open the top to fix the exact time of the murder… thereby
assuring many an amusing tale while cavorting in the harem with one
of one’s favorite wives. I can think of no other reason to put a watch
on top of the hilt of a dagger… unless of course one wants to think
of the dagger as merely a show-piece to be worn across one’s chest
while attending court affairs. What time is it your Sultaness? One
second while I check my dagger.
A quick aside as long as I’m talking about Istanbul. Did you know
that Istanbul is the only city in the world that touches upon two
continents… Europe and Asia?
The sheath is gold and also studded with diamonds. It has an enameled
flower design at its center. You may have noticed… those amongst
you that are keen observers… that today I am presenting one of the
wonders of Turkey. There may be more to come.
Anyway… I hope the summer is treating all of you well. Tidbits has
returned for another year… for better or worse… excluding an
interruption here and there. There is a slight breeze in the air. The
sun is shining. Things are copacetic.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… click it… and you will see represented on
our pages the Emerald Dagger at Topkapi.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.