At home it was a candy jar. At Christie's it became a rare, 14th-century covered bowl from Syria. In a museum it's now worth $32,500.
The "golden road to Samarkand" is no longer the adventure it once was. But the monuments of Islam to which it led endure to this day.
Everyone has folk heroes. Robin Hood in England. Davy Crockett in America. And Hatim in Arabia.
He gave America a new view of the Middle East, was the first American in Petra and the discoverer of Yucatan's Mayan ruins.
Tucked away in a dusty drawer in a mountain school: two small volumes of paintings and sketches of life in Lebanon during the 19th century.