A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Levantine treasures

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on August 16, 2008

Two Sundays ago, H and I loaded ourselves down like mules and toted bag after bag to the new apartment. We finished around 6:30, sweaty and a bit grumpy as we realized just how much more we had to move (and paradoxically, how little furniture we had. Most of what we own is clothing and books.).

And then, as we rounded the corner and headed back to our old apartment, there it was – the brass table-top I’d always wanted to buy in Damascus:

Brass and other metal table-tops are a dime a dozen in Syria, where they range from inexpensive plain disks to intricately carved, beaten and burnished masterpieces. (And where many sport a beautiful star of David in the center – another instance of the artisanal openness we noticed at Beiteddine.)

This one is rather mid-range: it has a pretty design, and the lip has some raised design elements, but it has no Arabic or deeply intricate patterns:

I couldn’t believe that a Levantine brass table-top was there in front of us, leaned up against the facade of a junk shop called 2Silhouettes in the Window. I had always wanted to buy one, but my incurable cheapness consistently held me back: I didn’t want to pay for shipping, or for odd-sized luggage if I took it back by plane.

The store’s proprietor couldn’t believe that I was so interested in his “brass tray” – apparently it hadn’t attracted much interest. As I knelt down to get a better look at the design, he quickly walked over to us and offered to let us have it for 40% of the amount on its price tag.

A big Levantine brass table-top for less than a dinner at Monks? How fast could I say “yes”?

It needs a little polishing, and we need to find a base for it, but I’m thrilled that I finally have the brass table-top I’ve always wanted – and equally thrilled that it has a Brooklyn pedigree!

4 Responses to “Levantine treasures”

  1. I have a brass table with Coranic verses that was made in the XIX century and belonged to my great grand father.

  2. intlxpatr said

    I would love to get my hands on it and polish it for you. What a treasure! Good eye, Little Diamond, and MABRUK Mabrook! You were meant to have it! And bless the owner, who gave you such a deal – a treasure to start life in your new place!

  3. LetUsTalk said

    less is more proves itself twice – great price and beautiful design! Look forward to seeing it ! 🙂

  4. […] by adiamondinsunlight on October 31, 2008 In August I wrote about a brass tray that I had picked up from our neighborhood junk shop – an act that pleased the owner even more than […]

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