I sometimes think that over the last ten years I must have covered everything that people choose to write with but of course that’s not true and probably never will be. Part of it is that there’s writing and writing. There’s the thing I do when I put pen to paper to draft articles like this and then there’s calligraphy. Calligraphy is a small niche interest here but it is more mainstream in some other cultures.
Someone drew my attention to a thing called a divit. I had been vaguely aware of it, having seen them in eBay over the years. The one that was pointed out to me was solid silver and beautifully decorated. It was up for auction (not eBay) with a recommended price of £350.00 and doubtless it would go higher. I used to consider buying one years ago but never did. My chance has gone: even the brass ones go for about £60.00 now.
The divit is a Turkish/Persian calligrapher’s tool. The small side piece holds ink and the long part holds pens. I don’t know whether or not it is intended to be portable. The pens Turkish calligraphers use are seasoned reeds, cut to a point somewhat like a quill. Calligraphers there are artists whose work is often very public. A poorly judged cut of the reed will change the characteristics of the writing and this is regarded as a serious fault, so the artists have to be skilled in shaping their reeds to suit the work they have to do.
I can’t really see the superiority of the divit over a simple case for the case for the reeds and an inkwell, even a travelling one, but that goes to show how little I know about it. Some of the divits I have seen for sale have some age. Those tools were developed to fit the calligrapher’s exact needs.
One of these days when I am flush with cash (that’s a laugh – have you seen the price of gas?), I will acquire the cheapest divit I can find and maybe some treated reeds to go with it.