12 November 2008

Binoculars, hourglasses, plastic babies, oh my!

Whilst visiting Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar or the Kapalıçarşı (Covered Bazaar) as it is called in Turkish, one tends to get overwhelmed by the numbers of jewelery stores; some roads within the complex have nothing but one jewelery store after another. After a while, you begin to wonder how they can all survive.


The occasional store that offers different, and somewhat unusual, merchandise provides a relief from the endless glitter of all that is gold and silver. This particular store was one such place, where the source of glitter was mostly brass and glass.


Its display windows were crammed with old binoculars, telescopes, opera glasses, cameras, compasses and an old telephone...


an hourglass, more binoculars, cameras and even an old brass microscope...


some watches, another hourglass and a box full of something, old slides, perhaps. And among all those instruments, devices and apparatus were 2 small plastic dolls. Don't ask me.


Neil said...

And a Physeter tooth?


That thing shaped like a banana? I was wondering about that.

George said...

yup, that looks like a sperm whale tooth. The style of engraving on it looks like what is called "scrimshaw", and is considered a folk art form, practiced by whalers and other sailors in the age of wooden ships. Nowadays marine mammal parts, especially ivory teeth, are highly controlled substances. It would take a lot of paper work to get that thing into the U.S. legally. Assuming of course it is what it appears to be.


Well, if I ever pass by that store & if that thing is still on the window, I'll inquire about the price of it.