Set of Calligraphers’ Tools

Location: Ottoman Turkey

Materials: ivory, gold, enamels, diamonds, agate, steel, gold damascening

Dimensions: length 22.6cm (penknife); 16.5cm (pen-rest); 27.7cm (scissors)

Accession Number: SCI 264

Other Notes:

The desk set comprises a penknife, a pen-rest and paper-scissors. The handles of the scissors are of gold with enamelled ribbons and foliate scrolls, lavishly encrusted with brilliants. The ribbed steel blades are hollow-ground and are gold-damascened in a manner which was a speciality of the craftsmen of Foča in Bosnia. The penknife blade is stamped with the maker’s name, Riza. In the 19th century, sets of calligraphers’ tools were evidently ordered by the Ottoman court for presentation.


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.460, pp.378–9.