Referencing the elite pastimes of hunting and writing, this ceremonial jeweled rifle set includes a dagger, pen case, penholder with pen, penknife, cleaner, and a spoon-all conveniently housed within the rifle butt. Penknives were important elements in the calligrapher’s toolset, and their handles were often elaborately decorated. The hardness of the reed used for pens throughout Islamic lands required a good blade to make a clean cut. The small spoon was used to put black powder into the flash pan in preparation for firing the rifle. The imperial monogram (tughra) of the Ottoman ruler Sultan Mahmud I (r. 1730-54) is inscribed in diamonds inside the hinged panel of the rifle butt. The artist Muhammad and the rifle’s owner, Ahmad Khan, who had possession of the rifle at some point, are also named.
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