First Stamp (1929-1939)
This is the “first stamp” used for cymbals produced by Avedis Zildjian in the United States, starting in 1929. The Arabic has a very specific look, appearing somewhat wide in the lettering. In later stamps the Arabic appears thinner.
The A stamps use a stylized way of writing Avedis (” وه ـض سا “) across the top with the letters sort of piled on top of each other. Also Zildjian (” زــلجـيان “) below has the /l/ (“ل “) is sort of packed on top of the [dʒ] (” جـ “) in the stamp.
|The first A Zildjian cymbals tend to be very small (8″ to 12″) and paper thin. This one to the left was just over 11″. Though they mainly produced splash cymbals, a few china-type early zildjians are known to exist.|
|Another giveaway is the signature under the bell. The first stamp is the only one to include the cymbalsmith’s signature under the bell. Personally, I think it is a stylized writing of “Avedis Zildjian” given the caveats that the writing system was a mess for Turkey at this time. Family members in Istanbul were changing their name to “Zilcan” and Turkey only started to use an adopted version of the Latin alphabet in 1928.|
Middle First Stamp (Mid 1930s?)
|I am positing a middle era early stamp with less robust stamping in the Arabic letters. The telltale feature—the angular shape of the letter “J” in “ZILDJIAN”—is more pronounced in the middle era stamps. Here is an animated comparison of the two first stamps.
Here are a few other photos of the stamp: 1 | 2
|This is a paper-thin 10″ with the middle first stamp. This cymbal has a larger bell than the one above. The signature was scrubbed off at some point.|
This stamp shows how different stamping action could create more robust stamps, but the push the metal around. (cleaner version). The middle-early stamp has a different ں toward the lower left in the Arabic. It is more hooked than in other first stamps. However some stamps seem to mix early and middle early characters (see another example).
A commenter (below) sayd that the “US” was added by the military.
|Here’s another mystery: first the signature sort of changes style. This one from a 15″ with the “middle first stamp”…|
|…then there are examples of this rubber-stamped “signature” on several that I’ve seen. You can tell it is rubber-stamped because there is a rectangular shape stamped around the signature in the same ink. Also, with respect to the bell hole, this would be an upside down version of the on above. Or, “signed” from a different angle, depending on how you prefer to think about it. Usually, bell signatures are below the hole, as though the hole were a little halo above the signature.|