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 Medievalists.net.
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.