The Pigot Diamond sometimes called the Pigott Diamond, the Lottery Diamond, or the Great Lottery Diamond, was a large diamond that originated in India in the 18th century and was brought to England where at the time it was the largest diamond in Europe. It remained in Europe for half a century, changing hands several times until it was sold to the ruler of Egypt in the 1820s. What happened to it after, unknown, inspiring a two-century mystery; the Pigot Diamond was obtained by George Pigot during his term as British governor of Madras, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu for the East India Company. He may have received it from an Indian prince in 1763; this may have been the Rajah of Tanjore as Pigot had told the directors of the East India Company that he had received presents from the Rajah. It may have been Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nabob of Arcot; the diamond may have been mined at Golkonda. Diamonds were a common way to transfer money back to England at the time. Pigot brought it to London in June 1764 when he returned to England aboard the East Indiaman Plassey after his first term as governor of Madras.
The diamond was brought to England rough cut and subsequently cut as a fine, oval brilliant, had an official recorded weight of 47.38 carats. The cutting is said to have taken two years and cost £3,000; the size of the rough stone is estimated to have been around 100 carats. At the time, it was the largest diamond in England, it has been characterised as having a large table and girdle, but it is shallow in depth giving it poor brilliance. On Pigot's death in 1777, he bequeathed it to his brothers, who commanded the left flank of the British forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill and Hugh, Commander-in-Chief of the West Indies fleet of the Royal Navy, his widowed sister Margaret, the wife of Thomas Fisher. Upon Robert's death in 1796, his share passed to his son George Pigot. Upon Hugh's death in 1792, his share passed to their five children; the joint owners attempted to sell the diamond but were unsuccessful as the perceived intrinsic value was so high and no reasonable offers were made. An alternate account is.
Although unmarried, he had several natural children at the time of his death, all of whom were minors. Regardless of this, the diamond remained in the extended Pigot family. A plan was conceived to conduct a lottery so that the Pigot family could receive full value without a single buyer willing and able to pay such an amount; such a plan required the approval of the Parliament, so petitioned in February 1800, because games of chance were illegal. The petition was considered in the House of Lords. There were arguments made for and against allowing the lottery, it was approved on 2 July 1800; the terms of the lottery were. Therefore, the sale of all tickets would realize £23,998; the value had been estimated at £25,000 to £30,000. Newspapers advertised the lottery beginning in August. Tickets were available from stockbrokers, jewellers and other companies; the winning number, 9488 was drawn on 2 March 1801 in Guildhall and had been purchased jointly by John Cruikshank, Richard Blanchford, John Henderson of London and William Thompson of Walworth.
The ticket was sold by Co.. The next known sale occurred in 1802 when it was sold by auction, as weighing 188 grains at Christie's on Pall Mall, the centre of London's fine art scene at the time, on 10 May for £9,500 to a pawnbroker in Soho, a Mr. Parker of Parker and Birketts. Parker may have been acting on behalf of the famous London jewellers and Bridge who in 1804 had obtained part ownership. Christie's used this description of the diamond: Its owners were unfortunate in its being brought to a market where its worth might not be sufficiently valued, where the charms of the fair needed not such ornaments, whose sparkling eyes outshone all the diamonds of Golkonda. In any other county, the Pigot diamond would be sought as a distinction, where superior beauty was more to be found. In 1804, it was offered for sale to Napoleon Bonaparte, just made Emperor of the French by the French Senate. Rundell and Bridge thought. Since the ephemeral Peace of Amiens with England ended and France and England were again in conflict, the diamond had to be smuggled into France.
It arrived in Paris after being brought through Holland by a man named Liebart, was offered to Napoleon by Laffitt & Co. Napoleon declined the offer because he was aware it came from England, with whom he was still at war; the Times of London prematurely reported on 26 November 1804 that Napoleon had purchased the diamond. Due to the conflict, the diamond was not returned to England, it remained in France until 1816 when the situation stabilised and several lawsuits over the diamond were concluded. Parker was anxious to obtain his share of the stone and contemplated a lawsuit which might have resulted in the diamond being divided into pieces, thus reducing its value. Instead and Bridge bought out Parker's share and became sole owners. An alternate report is that Parker filed a lawsuit to determine the value of his share of the diamond, resulting in the buyout. E. W. Rundell went to France after the 1814 defeat of Napoleon to reclaim the diamond, but his lawsuit ended prematurely with the return to
Topkapi is a Technicolor heist film made by Filmways Pictures and distributed by United Artists. It was directed by the emigre American film director Jules Dassin; the film is based on Eric Ambler's novel The Light of Day, adapted as a screenplay by Monja Danischewsky. The film stars Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell, Peter Ustinov, Robert Morley, Gilles Ségal and Akim Tamiroff; the music score was by Manos Hadjidakis, the cinematography by Henri Alekan and the costume design by Theoni V. Aldredge. Elizabeth Lipp visits Istanbul, where she sees a traveling fair featuring replicas of treasures from the Topkapı Palace. Next she cases the Topkapi, fascinated by the emerald-encrusted dagger of Sultan Mahmud I. Leaving Turkey, she recruits her ex-lover, Swiss master-criminal Walter Harper, to plan a theft of the dagger, they engage master of all things mechanical. Harper and Lipp hire small-time hustler Arthur Simon Simpson to drive a car into Turkey to transport hidden explosives and firearms for use in the burglary.
Simpson, knowing nothing of Harper's and Lipp's plans, is arrested at the border when Turkish Customs find the firearms. Because Simpson has no information for Turkish police, they conclude that the weapons are to be used in an assassination. Turkish Major Turfan decides to use Simpson to spy on Lipp for the police. Page, picking up the car in Istanbul, is told a police ruse that only the "importer" Simpson is permitted to drive it in Turkey. While traveling with the gang, Simpson leaves cryptic notes for his police handlers, but most of his intelligence is worthless since Simpson is still ignorant of the plan. Hans' hands are injured in a scuffle with the drunken cook and Simpson is engaged as a substitute, prompting him to confess that the police are watching them. Knowing they face arrest if they try to escape Turkey, or use their equipment, Harper improvises a new plan in which they will give the still-oblivious police the slip, steal the dagger without using their weapons. They'll "surrender" to the police, claim to have found explosives in their car.
Just before they leave, Simpson discards his last note leaves with the others. Harper arranges to give the police the slip; that evening, Harper and Giulio steal the dagger and leave a replica in its place. Unnoticed by the thieves, during the robbery a bird flies through the window they entered and is trapped inside the room when the window is closed; the gang deliver the dagger to Joseph, proprietor of the traveling fair display, who will smuggle it out of the country. The gang members go to police headquarters to "reveal" their discovery of weapons in the car; the inspector asks Simpson to vouch for Lipp's whereabouts that day. Simpson, seeming to waver, throws in his lot with the others, backs up their alibi. Before the police release Simpson and the others, the trapped bird in the Topkapi triggers the alarm, alerting police officers across Istanbul; when word of the Topkapi alarm reaches the police, Major Turfan confronts the thieves, displaying Simpson's last note, which has just enough information to link all of them to the theft.
Turfan tells them all. "A little bird told me," he says. The gang is seen in a Turkish prison, where Lipp begins to tell them of her fascination with the Russian Imperial Crown Jewels in the Kremlin; the end title sequence shows them escaped from jail some time and walking in snow by a Russian city. Melina Mercouri as Elizabeth Lipp Peter Ustinov as Arthur Simon Simpson Maximilian Schell as Walter Harper Robert Morley as Cedric Page Jess Hahn as Hans Fisher Akim Tamiroff as Gerven the Cook Gilles Ségal as Giulio Titos Vandis as Harback Joe Dassin as Joseph Ege Ernart as Major Ali Tufan Senih Orkan as First Shadow Ahmet Danyal Topatan as Second Shadow Ambler's novel is different from the movie on several counts, with the story narrated by Simpson, so that the reader only comes to work out what Harper and his associates are up to. Simpson in the book is blackmailed into driving the car to Istanbul after Harper catches him trying to steal Harper's travelers' checks; the book features frequent flashbacks to Simpson's schooldays in England, which help to explain his character and motives more than in the film.
According to Jules Dassin, he planned to cast Peter Sellers as Simpson, but Sellers refused to work with Maximilian Schell, who he claimed had a reputation for being difficult. Dassin was not prepared to dispense with Schell, so cast Ustinov in place of Sellers. Although he played one of the movie's leading roles, Peter Ustinov was nominated in 1964 for—and won—the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor rather than the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Simpson. In an interview given on Ustinov's death in 2004, Maximilian Schell surmised that this may have been due to the misconception that a servile individual like Simpson could only be portrayed via a "supporting actor" role. Appearing in supporting roles were Gilles Ségal as the human "fly" and Joe Dassin as Joseph, who runs the traveling fair display, supposed to smuggle the dagger out of Turkey; the athletic Ségal inspired other'trickwire' stunts, including a few used for the Mission Impossible TV show and movie. Joe Dassin was the son of the film's director Jules Dassin: he appeared as an actor in a handful of films, but was better known as a singer-songwriter.
The film was shot on location in Istanbul, T
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. His reign is recognized for the extensive administrative and fiscal reforms he instituted, which culminated in the Decree of Tanzimat, carried out by his sons Abdulmejid I and Abdülaziz. Described as "Peter the Great of Turkey", Mahmud's reforms included the 1826 abolition of the conservative Janissary corps, which removed a major obstacle to his and his successors' reforms in the Empire; the reforms he instituted were characterized by political and social changes, which would lead to the birth of the modern Turkish Republic. Notwithstanding his domestic reforms, Mahmud's reign was marked by nationalist uprisings in Ottoman-ruled Serbia and Greece, leading to significant loss of territory for the Empire following the emergence of an independent Greek state, his mother was Nakşidil Valide Sultan. In 1808, Mahmud II's predecessor, half-brother, Mustafa IV ordered his execution along with his cousin, the deposed Sultan Selim III, in order to defuse the rebellion.
Selim III was killed, but Mahmud was safely kept hidden by his mother and was placed on the throne after the rebels deposed Mustafa IV. The leader of this rebellion, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha became Mahmud II's vizier. Western historians give Mahmud a poor reputation for being the Sultan during a time of deterioration of the Ottoman Empire. There are many stories surrounding the circumstances of his attempted murder. A version by the 19th-century Ottoman historian Ahmed Cevdet Pasha gives the following account: one of his slaves, a Georgian girl named Cevri, gathered ashes when she heard the commotion in the palace surrounding the murder of Selim III; when the assassins approached the harem chambers where Mahmud was staying, she was able to keep them away for a while by throwing ashes into their faces, temporarily blinding them. This allowed Mahmud to climb onto the roof of the harem, he ran to the roof of the Third Court where other pages saw him and helped him come down with pieces of clothes that were tied together as a ladder.
By this time one of the leaders of the rebellion, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha arrived with his armed men, upon seeing the dead body of Selim III proclaimed Mahmud as padishah. The slave girl Cevri Kalfa was awarded for her bravery and loyalty and appointed haznedar usta, the chief treasurer of the Imperial Harem, the second most important position in the hierarchy. A plain stone staircase at the Altınyol of the Harem is called Staircase of Cevri Kalfa, since the events happened around there and are associated with her; the vizier took the initiative in resuming reforms, terminated by the conservative coup of 1807 that had brought Mustafa IV to power. However, he was killed during a rebellion in 1808 and Mahmud II temporarily abandoned the reforms. Mahmud II's reformation efforts would be much more successful. During the early years of Mahmud II's reign, his governor of Egypt Mehmet Ali Paşa waged the Ottoman-Saudi War and reconquered the holy cities of Medina and Mecca from the First Saudi State. Abdullah bin Saud and the First Saudi State had barred Muslims from the Ottoman Empire from entering the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina.
Abdullah bin Saud and his two followers were publicly beheaded for their crimes against holy cities and mosques. His reign marked the first breakaway from the Ottoman Empire, with Greece gaining its independence following a revolution that started in 1821. During the Battle of Erzurum, part of the Ottoman-Persian War, Mahmud II's superior force was routed by Abbas Mirza, resulting in a Qajar Persian victory which got confirmed in the Treaties of Erzurum. Several years in 1827, the combined British and Russian navies defeated the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Navarino; this event, together with the French conquest of Algeria, an Ottoman province in 1830, marked the beginning of the gradual break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Non-Turkish ethnic groups living in the empire's territories in Europe, started their own independence movements. One of Mahmud II's most notable acts during his reign was the destruction of the Janissary corps in June 1826, he accomplished this with careful calculation using his reformed wing of the military intended to replace the Janissaries.
When the Janissaries mounted a demonstration against Mahmud II's proposed military reforms, he had their barracks fired upon crushing the elite Ottoman troops and burned the Belgrade forest outside Istanbul to incinerate any remnants. This permitted the establishment of a European-style conscript army, recruited from Turkish speakers of Rumelia and Asia Minor. Mahmud was responsible for the subjugation of the Iraqi Mamluks by Ali Ridha Pasha in 1831, he ordered the execution of the renowned Ali Pasha of Tepelena. He sent his Grand Vizier to execute the Bosniak hero Husein Gradaščević and dissolve the Bosnia Eyalet. In 1839, just prior to his death, he began preparations for the Tanzimat reform era which included introducing a Council of Ministers or the Meclis-i Vukela; the Tanzimat marked the beginning of modernization in Turkey and had immediate effects on social and legal aspects of life in the Empire, such as European style clothing, legislation, institutional organization
Nicopolis or Actia Nicopolis was the capital city of the Roman province of Epirus Vetus. It was located in the western part of the modern state of Greece; the city was founded in 29 BC by Caesar Augustus in commemoration of his victory in 31 BC over Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium nearby. It was soon made the major city of the wider region of Epirus region. Many impressive ruins of the ancient city may be visited today, although today the old city is associated with the name Preveza, a place 7 kilometres south of Nicopolis. See main page: Battle of Actium. In 28 BC, 3 years after his victory in the naval battle of Actium, Octavian founded a new city which he called Nicopolis, located on the southernmost promontory of Epirus, across the mouth of the harbour from the ancient town of Actium; this foundation echoed a tradition dating back to Alexander the Great, more illustrated by Pompey, founder of Nicopolis in Little Armenia. Symbolically, the new city represented one example of his successful unification of the Roman Empire under one administration.
Geographically, it constituted a major transportation and communications link between the eastern and western halves of the Mediterranean. Economically, it served to reorganise and revitalise the region, which had never recovered from its destruction by Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus in the Third Macedonian War, or the further destruction under Sulla in 87–86 BC, it established an important commercial centre and port at this strategic position on the Mediterranean sea routes. On a hill north of Nicopolis where his own tent had been pitched, north of the present village of Smyrtoula, Octavian built a monument and sanctuary to Apollo, considered his patron god, trophies to two other gods and Mars for their contribution to its victory; this monument was adorned with the rams of captured galleys. In further celebration of his victory he instituted the quadrennial Actian games in honour of Apollo Actius. In 27 BC, Octavian implemented an Empire-wide administrative reform; the new polis was considered capital of the territories of southern Epirus including Ambracia, most of Akarnania, western Aetolia.
Many inhabitants of the surrounding areas – Kassopaia, parts of Acarnania and western Aetolia – were forced to relocate to the new city. Among other things, it obtained the right to send five representatives to the Amphictyonic Council; as a city in a senatorial province, Nicopolis began minting its own copper coins. During the first five years or so of the city's foundation, local authorities supervised the construction of the city walls, the majority of the public buildings, including the theatre, gymnasium and the aqueduct; the city's western gate was connected by a road to the Ionian harbour Komaros. The city occupied a site of around 375 acres. Although the exact legal status of Nicopolis is the subject of some dispute, unlike other Roman foundations in Greece contemporary with Nicopolis such as Patras, Philippi and in Epirus and Epidamnus, the city was not, or was not only, a Roman colony but a free city i.e. a polis and autonomous, having the characteristics of civitas libera and civitas foederata, linked to Rome by a treaty.
Thus provided with considerable assets by its founder, the new city developed in Roman times. The two ports, one on the Amvrakikos Gulf Vathy, one at Komaros on the Ionian Sea, ensured the commercial development of the city, built on the Roman orthogonal grid distinguished by its considerable size. Germanicus and adopted son of Augustus, visited the city en route to Syria and celebrated his second consulship there in 18 AD. In 30–31, the Roman consul Poppaeus Sabinus visited Nicopolis. In the winter of 65–66, the Apostle Paul decided to spend the winter at Nicopolis and in his Epistle to Titus 3:12 invited his co-worker Titus to join him there from Crete. A Christian community was in existence in the city. In 66, in the wake of a terror campaign and financial constraints in Rome, Emperor Nero made a more modest trip to Greece in lieu of a planned great journey to the east, he visited Nicopolis during his tour of Greece to take part in the Actian games and was crowned winner of the chariot race, as is indicated on coins minted in Nicopolis in his honor.
Around 93, Emperor Domitian expelled philosophers from Rome including the prominent Stoic philosopher Epictetus of Hierapolis, who went to Nicopolis. He founded his own school, in the reign of Trajan counted Arrian among his students, thanks to the notes he made of his philosophy, he died there around AD 135. Around 110, under Emperor Trajan the Roman government carved out the province of Epirus from parts of Macedonia and Achaia, making it a separate province in its own right. A procurator Augusti headquartered at Nicopolis governed Epirus; the new province of Epirus included Acarnania to the south as far as the Achelous, but not Apollonia to the north, plus the Ionian Islands – Corfu, Ithaca and Zacynthus. The reason for the reform was that the territory needed a stricter government to yield higher revenues; the new province was put under the control of an Imperial procurator, together with other special procuratores, including a procurator of the purple fisheries, whose sphere of office, extended to Achaea and Thessaly
A diamond cut is a style or design guide used when shaping a diamond for polishing such as the brilliant cut. Cut does not refer to shape, but the symmetry and polish of a diamond; the cut of a diamond affects a diamond's brilliance. In order to best use a diamond gemstone's material properties, a number of different diamond cuts have been developed. A diamond cut constitutes a more or less symmetrical arrangement of facets, which together modify the shape and appearance of a diamond crystal. Diamond cutters must consider several factors, such as the shape and size of the crystal, when choosing a cut; the practical history of diamond cuts can be traced back to the Middle Ages, while their theoretical basis was not developed until the turn of the 20th century. Design creation and innovation continue to the present day: new technology—notably laser cutting and computer-aided design—has enabled the development of cuts whose complexity, optical performance, waste reduction were hitherto unthinkable.
The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant, whose facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical and empirical analysis. Popular are the fancy cuts, which come in a variety of shapes, many of which were derived from the round brilliant. A diamond's cut is evaluated by trained graders, with higher grades given to stones whose symmetry and proportions most match the particular "ideal" used as a benchmark; the strictest standards are applied to the round brilliant. Different countries base their cut grading on different ideals: one may speak of the American Standard or the Scandinavian Standard, to give but two examples; the history of diamond cuts can be traced to the late Middle Ages, before which time diamonds were employed in their natural octahedral state—anhedral diamonds were not used in jewelry. The first "improvements" on nature's design involved a simple polishing of the octahedral crystal faces to create and unblemished facets, or to fashion the desired octahedral shape out of an otherwise unappealing piece of rough.
This was called the point cut and dates from the mid 14th century. By the mid 15th century, the point cut began to be improved upon: a little less than one half of the octahedron would be sawn off, creating the table cut; the importance of a culet was realised, some table-cut stones may possess one. The addition of four corner facets created the old single cut. Neither of these early cuts would reveal. At the time, diamond was valued chiefly for its adamantine superlative hardness. For this reason, colored gemstones such as ruby and sapphire were far more popular in jewelry of the era. In or around 1476, Lodewyk van Berquem, a Flemish polisher of Bruges, introduced the technique of absolute symmetry in the disposition of facets using a device of his own invention, the scaif, he cut stones in the shape known as briolette. About the middle of the 16th century, the rose or rosette was introduced in Antwerp: it consisted of triangular facets arranged in a symmetrical radiating pattern, but with the bottom of the stone left flat—essentially a crown without a pavilion.
Many large, famous Indian diamonds of old feature a rose-like cut. However, Indian "rose cuts" were far less symmetrical as their cutters had the primary interest of conserving carat weight, due to the divine status of diamond in India. In either event, the rose cut continued to evolve, with its depth and arrangements of facets being tweaked; the first brilliant cuts were introduced in the middle of the 17th century. Known as Mazarins, they had 17 facets on the crown, they are called double-cut brilliants as they are seen as a step up from old single cuts. Vincent Peruzzi, a Venetian polisher increased the number of crown facets from 17 to 33, thereby increasing the fire and brilliance of the cut gem, properties that in the Mazarin were incomparably better than in the rose, yet Peruzzi-cut diamonds, when seen nowadays, seem exceedingly dull compared to modern-cut brilliants. Because the practice of bruting had not yet been developed, these early brilliants were all rounded squares or rectangles in cross-section.
Given the general name of cushion—what are known today as old mine cuts—these were common by the early 18th century. Sometime the old European cut was developed, which had a shallower pavilion, more rounded shape, different arrangement of facets; the old European cut was the forerunner of modern brilliants and was the most advanced in use during the 19th century. Around 1900, the development of diamond saws and good jewelry lathes enabled the development of modern diamond cutting and diamond cuts, chief among them the round brilliant cut. In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky analyzed this cut: his calculations took both brilliance and fire into consideration, creating a delicate balance between the two. Tolkowsky's calculations would serve as the basis for all future brilliant cut modifications and standards. Tolkowsky's model of the "ideal" cut is not perfect; the original mo