Seljuk Iranian jewelry

christiesseljukbracelets This pair of bracelets are from between the 11th to 13th century. They have a diametre of 6.8cm and are made from braided gold wire with a centralised pin with niello arabesque vines. They were sold by Christies for $15,920 (£10,000).

christiesseljukring This ring was thought to have been made between the 12th to 13th century. It is gold decorated with palmettes inlaid with niello, with five claws. The inscription on the seal is “Paying heed to eternity is sufficient to gain everlasting life” and has a height of 2.5 cm. It was sold by Christies for $2,932 (£2,000).

metseljukroundel This 11th century gold roundel is made of filigree with granulation. It has a diametre of 7.1 cm and was thought to have been either clothing or head gear adornment. It would have also been inset with stones. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

metseljukhairornament This 12th to 13th century hair ornament was made from gold sheet engraved and decorated with gold wire and granulation over a copper inner sleeve. It is 7 cm long and 2.1 cm wide. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

metseljukbirdearring This gold earring was thought to have been made between the 12th and 13th century. It is gold filigree with granulation. It is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recommended reading
Gifts and Gift Exchange as Aspects of the Byzantine, Arab, and Related Economies by Anthony Cutler. JStor article.

Near Eastern Jewelry and Metalwork by Maurice S. Dimand. JStor article.

Islamic Jewelry in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Jenkins, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. A Metropolitan Museum of Art book available for pdf download.

Some Byzantine jewelry from the 6th-7th century

byzearringwithpearls This earring is made from gold wire with pearls and sapphires. It is 6.1 cm by 2.4 cm by 1.2 cm. The weight of the earring is 12 grams. The earring is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzearringwithdroppearls This earring is also made from gold wire with braided gold and pearls. The ring is 2.5 cm, with the earring itself being 8.3 cm by 3.1 cm overall with a thickness of 0.7 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzearringhalfmoon This gold earring was made using a technique called opus interrasile, or pierced openwork, with two peacocks used in the design. It is 5.5 cm by 4.9 cm with a thickness of 0.3 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byznecklacewithpendants This necklace is gold, with gold pendants that have been made from a sheet that was also decorated with opus interrasile but with wire beading (granulation) too. Detail- byznecklacedetail The pendants have been separated with gold tubes made from sheet gold with wire beading. The chain is 55 cm, the medallion pendants are 4.9 cm by 3.8 cm with a 0.7 cm thickness. The petal pendant is 4.7 cm by 2.6 cm with the same thickness. The tubes are 3.6 and 0.9 cm thick. The necklace is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

byzivybracelet This bracelet has been made using opus interrasile, with ivy leaf scrolls. The bracelet is 17.8 cm around, 3.1 cm wide with a thickness of 0.5 cm. The bracelet is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recommended reading
The Met has publications covering Byzantine art & jewelry available for sale and download (in pdf format).

From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art edited by Brown, K.; Little, C. and Kidd, D. Publication available for download.

The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261 edited by Evans, H & Wixom, W. Publication available for download.

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition edited by Evans, H. Publication available for purchase.

More Islamic amulets

Digital Capture This is a brass amulet from Ghaznavid ruled Persia in the 10th century. The amulet is pierced and incised brass which is 2.4 cm in diametre. It is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

neilloamulet10thcentiran This amulet case is silver inlaid with black niello and made between the 10th-11th century in Samanid ruled Iran. The niello is in curlicue and kufic inscription. The inscription is a blessing for a man named Hasan ibn Ahmad, probably the owner of the case. It would have held a verse of the Qur’an. The size is 4.6 cm by 4.3 cm by 1.2 cm. The amulet is in the the David Collection.

seljukamuletcase12thcent This amulet case is from the early 12th century Seljuk Empire. It is 3.4 cm wide, made of gold and decorated by repoussé with a kufic inscription. It was sold by Christies for £5,875 ($9,306).

ghuridamuletcase12thcent This case is also gold decorated by repoussé but from north-east Iran ruled the Ghurid Dynasty. It is 4.5 cm wide, with a kufic inscription al-mulk li’llah or ‘Sovreignty is God’s’. It was sold by Christies for £16,100 ($32,764).

The cases would have held text from the Qur’an such as-
quranscroll14thcent This scroll is from the 14th century to be kept in a case. It is 755 cm long and 10 cm wide. It contains 114 chapters of the Qur’an (or suras) as well as the 99 names of Allah. It is in the David Collection.

Recommended reading
Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Marilyn Jenkins & Manuel Keene. Via Google Books.

Please see the previous post Islamic amulets for more recommended reading.

Persian jewelry from the 11th century

Nikon 5400 Digital Capture This is a gold earring from Iran, thought to have been made in the early 11th century. It is 3.5cm and made from gold sheet, wire and granulation. The earring is currently in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

persianecklace11thcent This element is merely a part of a larger necklace, made from gold sheet, wire and granulations. It has been set with rubies. The size is 5.08 x 5.08 x 0.9525 cm. It is currently in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

persianring11cent This ring is from Eastern Iran, made between the 11th & 12th century. It is 2.19cm wide and 2.3cm tall. The ring is made from gold, set with turquoise and niello. It is in the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya Museum.

persianbracelet11thcent This is one of two matching bracelets (the other can be seen here) made from gold, shanked from gold sheet with soldered cats on it. 5.89 cm high and 6.15 cm wide, they are also inset with spinels. The bracelets are in the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya Museum. Details of the niello- persianbraceletdetail

Ghaznavid jewelry

This armlet was made during the Ghaznavid dynasty of Persian in the 11th century. The armlet is gold with filigree and granulation. The height of the clasp is 6.4 cm and the diametre of the armlet itself is 10.5 cm. There were once stones set in the clasp, but are long gone. The rear of the flat circles has an inscription in Arabic-

Justice! There is no god save Allah, and he has no associate. Al-Kadir billah.

The armlet is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This gold bracelet has the diametre of 7.6cm. It is inscribed with the name of the last Ghaznavid ruler Khusrau Malik (1160-1187 C.E.). The inscription reads-

The Enlightened, the Just, the Greatest Sultan, the Sovereign of the Necks of the Peoples, Sun of the Kings of Arabs and Persians, Defender of the Rulers in the World, Crown of Perpetual Prosperity, Lamp to those asleep, Light to the Community of the Loyal, Progenitor of Kings, Khusraw Malik, may God preserve his Possessions and Sovereignty

The bracelet is open form, with lion’s heads at the ends. The centerpiece is a niello running hare and the inscription is is naskh script. It was sold by Christies for $475,674 (£301,250).
This ring is made from sheet gold and set with a turquoise stone. The height of the ring is 3.49 cm. The ring is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Nasrid jewelry

These are earring elements, made of filigree gold and enamel. The 14th century elements are 3cm long and made of spiralling gold wire, the central band with cloisonné enamel lettering on a ground of gold spirals above a minor band of zigzags, the lower hemispherical portion with heart shaped gold spirals. The earrings were sold by Christies for £18,800 ($29,779).

This necklace is late 15th-16th century, made of filigreed and granulated gold with cloisonné enamel. While this was made by Nasrid craftsmen, the inscription is Latin- “Hail Mary, full of Grace” meaning it would have been made for a Christian. The medallion is 7.6 x 0.5 cm, the lotus bud is 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.5 cm with the largest of the cylinder beads 4.8 x 1.7 cm and the smallest 2.5 x 1.3 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This is a locket from a sword belt, made of gilded copper alloy, with granulation and cloisonné enamel. Thought to have been made between 1492-1550, it has a meaningless Arabic inscription. Most likely this was a trophy made from the “Reconquista” of Spain. It has a height of 7.3 cm, width of 14.6 cm and depth of 1.4 cm. The item is currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Recommended reading
The Survival of Nasrid Granada during the Reconquest by Marcel Abou-Assaly. Via
Moorish Spain by Richard Fletcher. Via Google Books.
The Art of Islamic Spain by Patricia, Countess Jellicoe. Via Saudi Aramco World.
The Muslims of Valencia in the Age of Fernando and Isabel by Mark D. Meyerson. Via Google Books.
Muqarnas edited by Gulru Necipoglu. Via Google Books.

Umayyad Andalusian jewelry

These items of jewelry (including coins) were found in Murcia, Spain in a coin hoard. They are dated to the Umayyad period or 756–1031 C.E. This particular group was thought to have been made between 929-1010 C.E.

This is thought to have been part of a necklace, made of gilded silver and copper. With a diameter of 9.2 cm and depth: 1.5 cm, it is decorated with bosses and stamped with filigree.

This open filigree rosette is 2.8 cm high, 2.8 cm wide with a depth of 0.55 cm.

This Magen David or Star of David is gilded silver with filigree decorations. The diameter is 3.3 cm.

Also thought to have been part of a necklace, this necklace is made of gilded copper and silver with glass, coral and carnelian beads.

These are silver gilt filigree plaques possibly from a girdle. They have been set with glass, although four of the settings are missing. There are four square and three circular plaques, set alternatively with a height of 3.2 cm, width of 6.8 cm and depth of 0.6 cm.

This necklace is made of gilded silver filigree and pearls. The diameter is 10.5 cm and width of 0.5 cm with what looks like fresh water pearls.

This engraved gold sheet with filigree was also thought to be part of a girdle. The height is 4 cm, width: 21.1 cm and depth: 0.2 cm.

These earrings are gold with filigree rosettes with the largest earring having a height of 4.3 cm, width of 4 cm and depth: 1.7 cm. The smaller earring has a height of 4.2 cm, width of 3.8 cm and depth: 1.5 cm.

These stamped silver coins come from the reign of Al-Hakam II (961-976 C.E.) and his son Hisham II (976-1008 C.E.). The coins have a diameter of 2.2 cm and depth of 0.1 cm, on average. It was thought they were pierced to be placed on a headband.

Ivory & wood jewelry box

This box was made in Byzantine Egypt in the 4th-6th centuries. The item is 34.3 x 35.6 x 30.5 cm and is made of ivory (bone), wood and wax. Two different carving types are used. The first type is figures in raised relief, which was used on the figures on the lid. The second is deep outlines filled with coloured wax, such as the dancers and fawns. The coloured dancers appear to be dancing with a tambour on the lid- I am happy to be corrected if anyone knows the correct terms for the instrument! The box is currently at the Walters Art Museum.

Seljuk Jewelry

These are two thick gold hoop earrings are from 12th century Iran. They are thick gold wire, which ends in a dragon’s head. The dragon’s eyes are set with turquoise and the other stones are citrine. The earrings are 5cm high. They were sold by Christie’s for £500 or $879.
This bracelet is from 11th century Iran. Constructed using a sheet of gold made into a tube with tapering ends, rolled back and a granulated hinge. It has a diametre of 7cm. The bracelet was sold by Chrisite’s for £1,188 or $1,829.
This is a silver ring with a silver bezel featuring a lion. The lion was symbolic of the Seljuk power. The lion is in profile, rearing up, surrounded by curliques. The bezel has a 1.9cm diametre and the ring itself 8.5cm. The ring was sold by Christie’s for $8,400.
These are 11th century wire beads from Iran. They are basketform, with three of them with granulated decoration. The granulated set are 1.5cm long and the round are 1.7cm long. They were sold by Christie’s for £625 or $999.
This belt is from 12th century Iran or Anatolia. It is made up of alternating four shaped stepped gold beads with three red carnelians, three tapering pyramidal rectangular beads set with emeralds, larger beads divided by cartouche-shaped panels each set with two pearls and two turquoises and the ends of the belt are made of shaped larger panels similar to the cartouche panels. There is a stylised kufic inscription, which reads- al-mulk, li’llah al-wahid, al-sa’ada, al-sa’id, al-za’id wa, al-baqa li-sahibihi which translates to Sovereignty is God’s, the One. Rising increasing Happiness and Long-life to its owner. The belt is 59cm long and had been fixed some time ago with some bronze links. It was sold by Christie’s for £61,250 or $94,386.

More gifts from the Guild

As the Shire of Krae Glas has now been made into a Barony and with the King and Queen of Lochac there, some gifts were made by myself to welcome them all.

Please excuse the fuzziness, I thought I had focussed properly…

This is the back of the kerchief, showing that it is reversible, even the cross stitch. This is based on a chart I had done previously on a third Blackwork Challenge. One of the easiest Blackwork I have done, while looking quite good. Black silk on linen, which has a higher thread count than the original 13th century kerchief. The kerchief was wrapped around two begleri, made of smoky quartz. All four begleri took me an evening to make and fiddle around with.

Really sorry about the fuzziness. I based the begleri on designs found on Culture Taste. The new Baron and Baroness of Krae Glas got a kerchief in the colours of Krae Glas-

This was based on Mathilde Eschenbach’s charted pattern from a doll’s robe. Here is the back and a good way to see the details of the golden thread-

The new B&B also got begleri, but theirs was red tiger eye.

I wish all them all the best with their gifts. If you want more information on begleri, please look at the Tasbih, misbaha, komboloi and begleri post.