COLLECTION OF FLINT-STRIKERS
Place of Origin: Persia
Date: 15th-19th Century
Overall: 75mm-140mm (3-5.5 inches)
This superior collection of six flint-strikers originates from Persia. Two of the pieces are of a significant importance and the finest examples of an already remarkable lot - a Timurid example in the form of a dragon, and another in the form of a snake. They all are made of steel, which has been skilfully engraved on each face and drilled and filed to optimise their intended function: the elongated surface would have been used to create a spark by scraping a flint across the edge.
Over the centuries, such strikers became more and more decorative and elaborate, showing a real aesthetic concern that not only made them important daily tools for providing heat and light, but also turned them into personal showpieces. A diverse range of flora, fauna, and letters appear as decorative motifs and outlines in other known examples, as well as additional hoops, fittings, and curls which became variously popular in the centuries that they were used.
The Timurid flint-striker, dating to the 15th century, is almost identical to an example currently held in the Tanavoli Collection, but such pieces can also be found in many important museum collections across the world.
One of the strikers features an Arabic inscription which reads as follows: 'Sultan Nadir Shah 1154’ (1741 to 1742 A.D.).
London art market
 See James Allan & Brian Gilmour, Persian Steel : The Tanavoli Collection, Oxford, 2000, p. 439, no. 73.