This textile is split stitched silk on plain weave, made in the 7th century in either Iran, Afghanistan or China. Detail of the boar’s head roundel- The textile is 56cm by 48cm. The textile has boars heads and peacocks embroidered on it. The textile is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This textile is from the 14th century. It is cotton embroidered with birds, floral scrolls and calligraphy in brown thread. It has a height of 130cm and is 47cm wide at the waist. It is in the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Museum, but the site doesn’t have much more information.
This chemise is also 14th century, from Afghanistan. It is also plain weave cotton, embroidered in black cotton. The design of the embroidery are rosettes, with an indigo band around the neck. It was sold at Christies for £11,950 ($17,292).
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.
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.
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.
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-
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.
Constantinople. This style of music is known as Muwashah, which originates from the Andalus. Constantinople also does Persian music- and Greek- The music can be seen on Constantinople’s Myspace page as well as on Amazon.
This is called “Lamma bada” and performed by the group
The University of Oxford and the Museum of the History of Science have an online exhibit called Al-Mizan. With many scientific instruments also being works of art themselves, they were usually made of brass. This Persian astrolabe has the Quran verse 2:255, known as the Throne verse-
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
Taken from Quran.com.
Unfortunately the exhibit has closed, but there is still information online. This includes a YouTube animation showing the workings of an astrolabe- There are some wonderful HD pictures that can be seen.
This caftan is from the 8th century, from the Caucasus/Persia region. It is 142.2 cm, made from silk, linen and fur. The caftan has been semi-reconstructed, as it was only preserved in a small part (from the hem to the neck). The main body was made of fine plain-weave linen, with lambskin as a lining. The decorative strip is of compound twill-woven silk, in stylized rosettes in dark blue, yellow, red, and white on a dark brown ground (much faded). There are slits in the caftan at sides which would have made it easier to ride. The caftan is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This woman’s tunic is also linen with silk decorative cuffs. The dimensions are 121.92 x 180.34 cm. The tunic is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is a collar of a caftan, made from silk. The measurements are 1.27cm wide and 57.79 cm long. There is very little information on the collar, but it looks like a tapestry weaving. The item is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These leggings are made of linen (feet section) and silk (leg section). There is the same stylized roundels as the above caftan. The leggings are 80.01 cm long. It is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These were made of leather, but no animal origin has been given. They are 17.15 x 14.61 cm. The gloves are currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A Man’s Caftan and Leggings from the North Caucasus of the Eighth to Tenth Century: A Genealogical Study by Elfriede R. Knauer. JStor article.
A Man’s Caftan and Leggings from the North Caucasus of the Eighth to Tenth Century: A Conservator’s Report by Nobuko Kajitani. JStor article.
This stucco statue is thought to be from an Iranian palace (unsure where) with similar statues found in audience chambers in palaces in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The statue was made from the mid 11th-12th centuries out of carved, painted and gilded stucco. The height is 119.4 cm, the width 52.1 cm and the statue weighs 77.1 kg. The statue wears a crown and a large saber, so it is possible it is representative of a royal. The statue’s clothing is an embellished coat over a robe, with tiraz bands on each arm. The loose translation for the left arm is worshiper for the believers and the right arm translates to he returns/belongs to the believers. The statue is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This second statue is from the same palace complex and time period as the first statue. Also made of carved, painted and gilded stucco in the mid 11th-12th centuries, the statue is 143.5 cm high, 51.5 cm wide and weighs 198.2 kg. The statue is wearing a robe with an elaborate coat, also with tiraz bands on each arm. However, there is no translation of these. If you do know the translation or can read them, please let me know. The statue is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Art of the Seljuqs of Iran (ca. 1040–1157) from the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
Arab Painting: Text and Image in Illustrated Arab Manuscripts by Anna Contadini. Via Google Books.
Islamic Art by Richard Ettinghausen. JStor article.
The Flowering of Seljuq Art by Richard Ettinghausen. JStor article.
This is a folio sheet from the Shahnama, a poem written by Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim Ferdowsī Tūsī in the 11th century. However, this particular illumination was done in the Safavid period, between the years 1520-1530 C.E. The picture is 30.8 cm by 18.0 cm, in opaque watercolours. The page is in the Freer & Sackler Museum.
The one of the legends of the Shahnama is of Bahram Gur. The picture is the daughters of Barzin dancing for Bahram Gur. The dancer has possibly a belt in her left hand and an instrument slung over her body. The second dancer is possibly clapping. The instruments being played are a large tambour and a chang (or harp) player.
Princeton University has a Shahnama Project, where thumbnails of the Shahnama is able to be viewed.
The Persian Book of Kings: An Epitome of the Shahnama of Firdawsi translated by Basil William Robinson. Via Google Books.
History of the Chang by the Farabi School.
Traditional Iranian Music by the Toos Foundation.
Dance- Raqs written by A. Shapur Shahbazi & Robyn C. Friend. From Encyclopædia Iranica.
Research and Reconstruction of an Ancient Persian Harp from the International Art & Architecture Research Association.
The Conference of the Birds (also known as Mantiq al-Tayr) is a 12th century Persian poem written by Farīd ud-Dīn ‘Attār. This picture is from a Safavid book from the early 17th century. It is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the poem, the birds of the world gather to choose a king, believing that it would bring harmony to all the birds. The hoopoe bird, wisest of the birds, persuades the other birds to seek out the Simurgh, which lives on Mount Qaf. The birds travel through the valleys of quest, love, gnosis, contentment, unity, wonder, and poverty. When they reach the Simurgh, only thirty birds remain. They see themselves reflected in the Simurgh, so see themselves. The poem is an allegory on the Sufi path to Allah through self-annihilation.
Bird Parliament by by Farid ud-Din Attar. Translated by Edward FitzGerald (1889).
The Conference of the Birds. In four parts.