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Old 14th August 2016, 03:58 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default CLOISONNE PRIMER FLASK AND BULLET BOX

Just received these two nice pieces. I suspect they are North African.
The flask measures 13cm across the U. The bullet box is 6cm wide, 7.5cm tall and 2.5cm thick. The lid is NOT hinged but slides to the side for opening.
Unfortunately one of the "tassles" is missing but other than that both items are in great condition with no enamel missing or cracked.
The base metal of both items appears to be silver, as neither are magnetic.
Comments welcome.
Stu
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Old 14th August 2016, 07:31 AM   #2
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Hi Stu,

Very nice objects.
The chain is old and IMHO they are from 1890-1920.
I think the box demonstrates clearly that most of the so-called Koran boxes are in fact bullet boxes. The enamel work and the powder horn are probably Moroccans. Now the welded suspension rings of the powder horn make me think that both were sold as companions and they are decorative objects.

Best,
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Old 14th August 2016, 04:32 PM   #3
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Default koran box

That makes little sense. Workshops made different items with various applications. They make what sells. I have a Koran box with similar work
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Old 14th August 2016, 09:18 PM   #4
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This is a good question which is half answered as one is the gunpowder flask and the almost square item is ?
Certainly North Africa either Morocco and or Algeria. Note that clossone was more common in in Algeria and also applied to the Hilt of the Algerian Nimcha.
I will stick up some other examples in a moment...

There are examples at Library and the web illustrates many at https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...e&fr=chr-yo_gc

The question is more interesting because some countries have Quran Holders...and some look like they could be for bullets or oil... but that the two ought not to be mixed up. It should be understood that what is meant as a Quran holder means a small Quran is meant to be contained inside...in miniature. On the other hand some boxes are for a note either from the Quran or a note of some important issue ...e.g. water rights / building rights/ or something to be kept safe ...most of the time they may be empty. This is called a Hirz...and can be seen in the group photo below (Omani) They are usually sealed with pitch.

A decorated Quran box holder can be decorated in a number of ways including geometrical art or inscribed with words from the Quran and in Morocco or Algeria some are covered in Clossonne..Other examples include those with magic squares. Quran holders are not usually sealed.

I would expect to see other decoration on a bullet container or grease box. Not withstanding this it is possible that boxes for the tourist market could appear with no rhyme or reason to what they are decorated with...although even that seems doubtful to me....
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Old 15th August 2016, 01:24 AM   #5
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Hi Stu.

Very nice matched pieces. And appear in good condition. Interesting the sliding cover.

Rick
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Old 15th August 2016, 02:43 AM   #6
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Hi Rick,
Both in excellent condition apart from one "tassle" missing from the box. I should add that both came together from the same source.
As far as the box is concerned it could be either a bullet box or Quran holder. Appears from above comments that there is a differing opinion on this, but that is what the Forum discussions are about.......
Stu
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Old 15th August 2016, 02:42 PM   #7
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With a slide off lid you would lose the top pretty quickly if it was a bullet box. Also can you imagine having this box half full with round lead balls on a horse or camel at full gallup. I would think that pieces of the decoration would be all over the place.
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Old 15th August 2016, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
With a slide off lid you would lose the top pretty quickly if it was a bullet box. Also can you imagine having this box half full with round lead balls on a horse or camel at full gallup. I would think that pieces of the decoration would be all over the place.
.....Agreed........ so it is a Quran box.
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Old 15th August 2016, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Note that clossone was more common in in Algeria and also applied to the Hilt of the Algerian Nimcha.
Hi Ibrahiim,

Do you have some photos of this Algerian nimcha with cloisonne?
I'm curious to see that.
Thanks

Kubur
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Old 15th August 2016, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default koran

Here is a similar one.
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Old 16th August 2016, 12:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Ibrahiim,

Do you have some photos of this Algerian nimcha with cloisonne?
I'm curious to see that.
Thanks

Kubur
I have seen the very heavily clossoned Algerian Hilt and I will dig it out...Meanwhile something is wrong with the search function on Forum...or it could be my computer...I trailed all the way through about 14 pages of Library and somehow came up on BAT HILTS # 21 as~

The Nimcha. The Italian and/or Venetian sword appears as the origin of species and can be seen transmitted along the North African Mediterranean Coast in particular cloisonne versions in Algeria and other examples of a similar theme as far west as Morocco in the Mediterranean. It seems to have been a preferred weapon of the Barbary Coast ~ Pirates.
A few swords somehow arrived in England early in the 16thC though on long English blades etc etc

I place plate 32 by Buttin for interest.

The write up on the gilded sword below indicates Moroccan although I suggest it is Algerian as they were very fond of Cloisonne which you can see at the scabbard..and may also have been also on the hilt but degraded...I will search for a fully cloisonne hilt..

Meanwhile a few other boxes... are these Quran or bullet boxes...? The Islamic geometry indicates Quranic rather than for bullets. Excellent picture above by Ward and the logical conclusion that the long sliding lid is for a miniature Quran not for bullets...and illustrates a miniature Quran carried as a Talisman. (From an Arabic word EXPANDED UPON AS ~ Origin Mid 17th century: based on Arabic ṭilsam, apparently from an alteration of late Greek telesma 'completion, religious rite', from telein 'complete, perform a rite', from telos 'result, end'.).

I added a few Algerian Flyssa which although often adorned with red floor wax as a cheap way of lookalike Cloisonne ...added for interest.
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Old 16th August 2016, 09:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I added a few Algerian Flyssa which although often adorned with red floor wax as a cheap way of lookalike Cloisonne ...added for interest.
Hi Ibrahiim,
This is not cloisonne. Most of your examples are inlay technic. The cloisonne is done with glaze/ ennamel. Not engraved or inserted but added.
The two first swords and your last sword are from Morocco by the way. Look on the forum we have few examples of nice cloisonne.
Best,
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Old 16th August 2016, 11:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Ibrahiim,
This is not cloisonne. Most of your examples are inlay technic. The cloisonne is done with glaze/ ennamel. Not engraved or inserted but added.
The two first swords and your last sword are from Morocco by the way. Look on the forum we have few examples of nice cloisonne.
Best,
Hello Kubur,...Good point however; What I said was I couldn't at this time access library for tech issues ...but I can recall seeing full cloisonne on there...I explained that red floor wax was used on the Flyssa...and placed some other Quran Boxes as further examples. I also outlined that I thought the provenance was slightly incorrect and that the cloisonne which is shown on the Nimcha with gold embellishment was in fact Algerian.

See also http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4782 which may also be Algerian...

Your point is interesting since after hours of searching I cannot separate the two... that may well be because they are inseparable in that Berber Moroccan and Berber Algerian may have the same sword; The Clossonne hilt Nimcha.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi; 17th August 2016 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 18th August 2016, 10:05 PM   #14
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HEREIN IS PART OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL CONUNDRUM WITH SWORDS OF THIS TYPE...SEE http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=128
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Old 19th August 2016, 10:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
.....Agreed........ so it is a Quran box.
Hi Stu.

Yes, I have to agree with Ward. The sliding cover would be too impractical to retrieve bullets from.
However, the typical hinged boxes work very well. I've actually tried this (although not from horse or camel LOL) with pre-formed cartidges (paper wrapped powder and ball) with the containers mounted on a waist belt. It works very well and is quick to reload a pistol. So I can see why these bullet containers were so popular.
Anyway, I still like your set. Very attracive looking.

Rick
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Old 19th August 2016, 11:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Stu.

Yes, I have to agree with Ward. The sliding cover would be too impractical to retrieve bullets from.
However, the typical hinged boxes work very well. I've actually tried this (although not from horse or camel LOL) with pre-formed cartidges (paper wrapped powder and ball) with the containers mounted on a waist belt. It works very well and is quick to reload a pistol. So I can see why these bullet containers were so popular.
Anyway, I still like your set. Very attracive looking.
Rick
Hi Rick,

I think that's more complicated than black or white.
Some Koran boxes are Koran boxes even the locals call them like that.
However some Koran boxes are very small and exactly the size of the palaskas. The ones who have this kind of bullet boxes will understand what I mean... For the use from a running horse or camel lol like in cowboy movies...
best
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Old 19th August 2016, 11:56 PM   #17
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I believe we were discussing a specific box with a specific construction and decoration. If we were going to branch out to other constructions and decorations than the use of an item may change. I actually like the work done on these items I suspect it is later 1945-1970 but that is just speculation from jewelry that has a known age of that.
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Old 20th August 2016, 10:06 AM   #18
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The designation Quran holder is interesting because it has not so much to do with the sliding lid...although this is in fact true ...and is an excellent bit of logical detective work...but that it is the decoration on the box and its shape which signifies its use....Artwork has to be geometrical as this was the form of art linked to the religious form...There is no way a box of this definition could be used as a bullet container...What I find odd is that these two items are part of a set...perhaps the item that looks like a powder flask is only a decorative item?...or talismanic...
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Old 20th August 2016, 12:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The designation Quran holder is interesting because it has not so much to do with the sliding lid...although this is in fact true ...and is an excellent bit of logical detective work...but that it is the decoration on the box and its shape which signifies its use....Artwork has to be geometrical as this was the form of art linked to the religious form...There is no way a box of this definition could be used as a bullet container...What I find odd is that these two items are part of a set...perhaps the item that looks like a powder flask is only a decorative item?...or talismanic...
Salaams Ibrahiim. I should point out that at no stage were these two items referred to by me as a "set"..... Simply that they came from the same source.
Also the flask contained a small amount of darkish grey residue which I suspect would be powder.....
Stu
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Old 20th August 2016, 12:27 PM   #20
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From the rather low quality of workmanship, I would say these are quite recent bazaar or decorative pieces made for sale. Coincidentally, I bought a "Hand of Fatima" pendant, as a gift, in Portobello Market just a couple of weeks ago, of very similar work...
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Old 20th August 2016, 12:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Salaams Ibrahiim. I should point out that at no stage were these two items referred to by me as a "set"..... Simply that they came from the same source.
Also the flask contained a small amount of darkish grey residue which I suspect would be powder.....
Stu
I refer to the two items as part of a set because they came from the same source and the work is almost identical...that would indicate to me that these were made as a set or as part of a set. Would the darkish grey residue not be flux?
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Old 20th August 2016, 05:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Rick,

I think that's more complicated than black or white.
Some Koran boxes are Koran boxes even the locals call them like that.
However some Koran boxes are very small and exactly the size of the palaskas. The ones who have this kind of bullet boxes will understand what I mean... For the use from a running horse or camel lol like in cowboy movies...
best
Hi Kubur !! How have you been ?

I've noticed the Koran holders all seem to have a similar squarish construction, and rings for attaching a throng or cord. Which could be carried around the neck, waistbelt, or most anything. This seems logical to me.

The Palaskas, wheather Ottoman, Greek, etc. all seem to have the construction/shape as per my pic above. With an intentional cast-in or soldered loop on the back side for a snug fit on a waist belt. And they all seem to be about the same size. Beyond tradition, I've often wondered why this specific shape was used. I'm still not sure. But, as mentioned above, I do not believe these were designed to carry loose lead balls. Instead, I believe they were used to carry pre-made paper cartridges for use with the pistols on horseback.

While I guess both containers could be used for cross purposes, it seems each was generally designed for their seperate purposes.

Rick
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Old 20th August 2016, 07:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I refer to the two items as part of a set because they came from the same source and the work is almost identical...that would indicate to me that these were made as a set or as part of a set. Would the darkish grey residue not be flux?
Flux residue in my experience is more of a whitish colour......
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Old 20th August 2016, 08:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Kubur !! How have you been ?
Rick
Hi Rick,
I' doing my best to collect some guns that you don't have but it's difficult...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
rings for attaching a throng or cord. Which could be carried around the neck, waistbelt, or most anything. This seems logical to me.
The Palaskas, wheather Ottoman, Greek, etc. all seem to have the construction/shape as per my pic above. With an intentional cast-in or soldered loop on the back side for a snug fit on a waist belt. And they all seem to be about the same size.
Rick
OK I' ve a different opinion. Look at this small Ottoman box and what do you think about the suspensions...
Now the Greek and Turkish are not the Africans / Berbers. I think they had different fashions and uses. About the Moroccan rings of the so called Koran boxes, they are very similar to the rings that you can find on Moroccan powder flask and koummiya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
I do not believe these were designed to carry loose lead balls. Instead, I believe they were used to carry pre-made paper cartridges for use with the pistols on horseback.
While I guess both containers could be used for cross purposes, it seems each was generally designed for their seperate purposes.
Rick
I follow you on that one. My point was just that some Koran boxes were not Koran boxes.
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Old 21st August 2016, 12:57 AM   #25
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The only similarities are that they all are containers.
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Old 21st August 2016, 03:41 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
The only similarities are that they all are containers.
Well Ward.......you're right. LOL

Kubur: Yes, I agree with what you are saying ref different styles for different Regions. We do have historical evidence that many of these small containers were in fact utilized to carry a Koran. But I've never seen any real evidence that the Ottoman/Greek style of Palaska, as shown above, was actually used to carry pre-formed cartridges for the pistols. But most of the reference material I have read refer to this paticular style as bullet containers. Maybe one of our Forum members as seen more conclusive evidence ?

One day a while back, curiosity had me try an experiment. I went to the shooting range to test my theory. I made up 10 pre-formed paper cartidges. 5 will fit inside each container very neatly in a vertical fashion. I fastened the belt around my waist and a Suma Rod suspended around my neck, and holding the pistol in my left hand. Using my right hand thumb, it was very quick and easy to open the lid of the container, grab a cartridge, and close the lid. Then tear off the powder end of the cartridge, prime the pan, then use the rest of the powder, ball and paper (as wadding) in the barrel with one push of the Suma Rod. (Today you would want to prime the pan last for safety reasons. But that was the procedure back in the period to increase the speed of loading). It was actually much faster retrieving the cartridge from these little containers than a leather pouch with a flap. I can't seem to envision priming the pan of a flintlock pistol while the horse is at a gallop. LOL But once the horse is still, I can see this would be a quick and convenient way to reload.
At least from a shooter's perspective, the theory seems to hold up. But again, it is still just my theory. I still have no historical evidence. It just may be a coincidence. Anyway, it was a fun experiment.

Rick
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Old 22nd August 2016, 10:59 AM   #27
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In deciding what the box may be used for my advice is to look at the decoration; In some Quran holders the work is geometrical in accordance with a general rule although not right across the geographical area of the religion from the Atlantic to the far flung reaches of China...because of regional variation...taste and localized tradition ~ On some Quran holders other religious scenes may be worked...for example a Mosque. (as seen above) Other boxes appear however they are the Palaskas of Greek form...some are boxes for grease whilst others carried bullets. The Quran holder was not used for bullets...
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Old 21st November 2016, 04:47 AM   #28
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Sold recently
Described as "powder flask and bullet container", I think it's clear now...
Changing his mind is never bad. Look at Darwin and the theory of the evolution...
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Old 21st November 2016, 07:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Sold recently
Described as "powder flask and bullet container", I think it's clear now...
Changing his mind is never bad. Look at Darwin and the theory of the evolution...
Nice pair!! As to the bullet box/Quran holder question.....the description neither clarifies or proves anything. How many times do we see items described as what they are not? The threads above IMHO strongly lean towards the Quran holder, and one even shows the box and its contents..........
Stu
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