JORDAN OUT OF DOORS
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A well known souvenir shop in Petra, the Sandcastle has branched out. The brothers who run it have always been enthusiastic about old objects, and they have produced an imposing collection of them, first of old jewellery and knives (especially from Yemen) and now a veritable museum of pieces from 50 to 150 years old, sometimes more. The brothers can tell you more about the objects than I have time or space to tell you here.
The large room behind the shop, formerly devoted to rugs, now holds their collection. I have called it the "Ottoman Room" since the majority of pieces are from the Ottoman period, and come from all over ME.
Everything here is for sale, but I warn you that they are not cheap. This is the closest thing to an antique shop I have seen in Jordan although I am sure there must be others . Much of their collection is from the twentieth century, but but overall the effect is that of the romantic period when Damascus was the uncontested capital of the region and Damascene furniture and bibelots were much sought after.
The chests shown at the top of the page are accompanied by the gaming table on the left above, and by a divan spread with rugs and the little table in front of it.
Another view of the divan and two more small modern tables : one with various vases and jars and the other with small jewellery boxes. Notice the various objects behind the divan.
A fascinating array of "things" backed by a beautiful carpet.
On the left a bronze bowl from Syria, engraved on the interior with the prayer "There is no God but God" and on the right a bronze door bell from Afghanistan. The door bell is one of a pair, each of which weighs over 25 kilograms
Notice the crocodile head on the butt of the carbine
Three more beautiful objects : a brass jar from Syria, a bronze coffee pot, a water pipe made of mother of pearl
The sharp eye will spot the Bani Hamida rugs also sold here. The gorgeous red rug on the right is made of silk.
The Sandcastle is about 500 meters, call it a quarter of a mile, from the entrance to Petra, in front of the Silk Road Hotel and almost next door to the Petra Kitchen and the handcrafts shop called Made in Jordan. Their phone/fax number is +9126.96.36.19926 or 03.215.7326 from inside Jordan and they have an attractive website at http://www.petrasandcastle.com/
like everywhere else : "There's
no charge for looking!"