20 • Shah Maqsud

20 • Shah Maqsud

Turkey; 18th century or earlier
8 cm diameter

Shah Maqsud is a mountain north-west of Kandahar in Afghanistan, named after a Sufi teacher who is reputed to have lived on its peak and whose shrine remains at its base. A mine of marble-like stone – a type of high quality bowenite – was found within and treasured by the Sufi mystics, as result of which the mine dried up quickly and its stone remains highly sought after.

This Bektashi Taslim Taj stone is of Shah Maqsud and unusual for its attachments – a black stone talisman, two spherical ‘eye’ agates, a mottled green hardstone bead, and a tooth of carnelian.