A desk seal with Arabic or Persian inscription, early 19th century


The seal has a lignum vitae wooden handle with an unmarked silver mount around intaglio seal. Overall it is 4 inches and the matrix measures roughly 20 x 20 mm. This was acquired by us in Edinburgh about ten years ago and we were told at the time that it had belonged to a British official in the East India Company. A kind friend in India has managed to translate some parts for us. This includes the date 1241 Hijri [1825/26 AD] and the word Taasis meaning laying the foundation or to establish. At the bottom is the name WatsonOne could speculate endlessly on which Watson but we have decided to leave additional research to the purchaser.

High British officials from the Governor General downwards had Persian Secretaries as it was necessary to communicate in Persian, especially with Princes and rulers.

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