This pitcher had been excavated in Nishapur, Iran and thought to have been made in the 9th-10th century C.E.
It is earthenware, decorated in in poly-chromatic colours with a transparent glaze (known as a buff glaze). It is 26.7cm high. The pitcher can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 38.40.247.
This bowl was excavated in Nishapur, Iran but was thought to have been made in Uzbekistan in the late 10th-11th century C.E. because of the central decoration. It is also decorated with writing that translates to “Blessing, felicity, prosperity, well-being, happiness” in Arabic, which was meant for the owner of the bowl.
It was made of earthenware, white slip with polychrome slip under a transparent glaze. It has a diametre of 35.6 cm and a height of 10.8 cm. The bowl is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Accession Number: 40.170.15.
CERAMICS xiv. The Islamic Period, 11th-15th centuries by Ernst J. Grube. Via Encyclopaedia Iranica.
“Islamic Pottery: A Brief History” by Marilyn Jenkins.
Early Islamic lustre from Egypt, Syria and Iran (10th to 13th century AD) by T. Pradell, J. Molera, A.D. Smith, and M.S. Tite.
Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period by Wilkinson, Charles K.
The Glazed Pottery of Nishapur and Samarkand by Wilkinson, Charles K.
All images taken from one manuscript of the Bibliothèque nationale de France’s copy of the Les Maqâmât d’Aboû Moḥammad al-Qâsim ibn ʿAlî al-Ḥarîrî, known as manuscript Arabe 3929. The Maqâmât (or “Assemblies”) are 50 stories, written in the mid 13th century C.E. in northern Syria. The prose is written in the style known as saj’, meant to be learnt by rote and recited to others by heart.
This image of of the hero of the story Abu Zayd (on the right of the image) and his wife. This is Image f40 in the manuscript.
This image is Abu Zayd and his wife being arrested. Taken from Image f49 in the manuscript.
Abu Zayd appearing as an old woman. Taken from Image f85 in the manuscript.
Another picture of Abu Zayd as an old woman. Taken from Image f88 in the manuscript.
Abu Zayd appearing before the Kadi. The picture is taken from Image f279 in the manuscript.
The Kadi dispensing justice to Abu Zayd and his wife. Taken from Image f285 in the manuscript.
This is the slave of Abu Zayd. Taken from Image f313 from the manuscript.
Medieval Sourcebook: Al Hariri of Basrah by Paul Halsall. The first 12 Assemblies.
LibriVox- Excerpts from the Makamat. Public domain audiobook.
Orality, writing and the image in the Maqamat: Arabic illustrated books in context by Alain F. George. Via Academia.edu.
In Pursuit of Shadows: Al-Hariri’s Maqāmāt by David J. Roxburgh. First printed in Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World 30 (2013): 171-212. Via Archnet.
Arab Dress: From the dawn of Islam to modern times by Yedida Stillman. Via the Internet Archive.
This 12th-13th century ring is made of silver and gold with the diametre of 2.5cm.
There is a carved seal of purple stone and a calligraphic niello design on the under side.
The inscription on the seal reads-
“bi’llah yathiq ‘ali”
which in English means “Ali puts his trust in God”. The second inscription around the bezel reads-
“al-‘izz al-da/’im wa al-i/qbal al/ al-baqa”
which in English translates to “Perpetual Glory, Prosperity, and Long-life.” The final inscription has not been translated. The ring was sold by Sotheby’s for 27,500 GBP.
This 12th-13th century ring of gold has a bezel decorated with two birds, inside a cartouche surrounded by arabesques and human figures holding up pseudo claw settings. The ring is 1.7 cm high. Sold by Christie’s for 2,115 GBP.
This 12th-13th century gold ring is decorated in a hexagonal shape with niello in a curling arabesque design and a calligraphic inscription that reads-
“Abu Bakr Musa”
who was the owner of the ring. The band of the ring has harpies and palmettes. It is 1.9 cm high. It was sold by Bonhams for 1,800 GBP.
This high stirrup ring is 9th-11th century silver, with a high raised bezel setting with an amethyst. There is a calligraphic kufic inscription which reads in English-
“Blessing to Hasan”
who is the owner of the ring. It is 3.8cm high. It had been passed in at Bonhams.
This textile was thought to have been made in either Iran or Iraq during the time of the Seljuk Empire. The base fabric is mulham (silk warp thread with cotton weft thread) woven into a tabby or plain weave. The embroidery is a tiraz, sewn in silk and gold metal thread with the dimensions being 6cm high and 19.7cm wide. The textile’s accession number is 1950.560.
This textile was thought to have been made in the 12th century in either Iraq or Iran. Like the previous textile, it is also mulham tabby weave embroidered with silk and gold metal thread. The dimensions are 14.6cm high and 8cm wide. This textile’s accession number is 1950.561.
This textile is also like the other textiles- mulham tabby weave with silk and gold metal embroidery from the 12th century. The dimensions are 7cm high and 23.5cm wide in a roundel design with a bird in the centre. The accession number is 1950.562 with another view of the textile available on the page.
This textile is the same as the previous- mulham tabby weave with silk and gold metal embroidery. The dimensions are 7.3cm high and 21.6 cm wide. The accession number is 1950.533 with another view of the textile available on the site.
Ars Islamica, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1934. Via the Internet Archive.
Ancient Silk Textiles in the Land of Israel by Shamir O. and Baginski A. in Resist Dye on the Silk road: Shibori, Clamp Resist and Ikat. Proceeding of the 9th International Shibori Symposium in Hangzhou, China. Pp. 25-31. Via Academia.edu.
Tiraz: Textiles and Dress with Inscriptions in Central and Southwest Asia by Margaret Anne Deppe. PDF file.
This pendant was thought to have been made in Seljuk ruled Iran between the 11th and 12th century. It is made of gold openwork filigree with gold granulation. The diametre is 5.9 cm. It is currently on show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This pendant was also thought to have been made between the 11th-12th century in Iran. It is of gold sheeting decorated with gold filigree set with pink tourmaline and turquoise. It is currently on show in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This pendant was thought to have been made in the 12th century in Iran. It is made of gold sheet decorated with filigree. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This bird pendant was thought to have been made in the 12th century in Iran. It was made of cut gold sheet decorated with filigree. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This pendant was thought to have been made between the 12th-13th century in Iran. It was made with gold sheeting, filigree, and jade. The dimensions are 3.2 cm by 5.1 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art edited by M. Jenkins, M. Keene. Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Via Google Books.
Adornment, Identity, and Authenticity: Ancient Jewelry In and Out of Context by Megan Cifarelli. In the American Journal of Archaeology, Issue 114.1, January 2010. PDF document.
This vase is from the Seljuk period in Iran, 12th century C.E. It is a molded vase with a cobalt blue glaze, 26.6cm high and 15.8cm wide.
The molded decorations are of dancing figures It is currently in the Yale University Art Gallery.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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-
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.
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.
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.
Nasreddin was thought to have lived in the 13th century, with many stories about him. He was thought to have been born in the Eskişehir Province in Seljuq controlled Anatolia. He is a satirical figure, being a Sufi wise man and the butt of many jokes. The famous story of Nasreddin and his donkey-
One day Nasreddin Hodja got on his donkey the wrong way, facing towards the back.
– “Hodja,” the people said, “You are sitting on your donkey backwards!”
– “No,” he replied. “It’s not that I am sitting on the donkey backwards, the donkey is facing the wrong way.”
Many stories have been amalgamated into stories of Juha, a 9th century Arabic trickster, so much that the names have been swapped around. There are many quotes attributed to Nasreddin on Wikiquote and there are many stories available to read retold by D. L. Ashliman.
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales by Donald Haase. Via Google Books.
Tales of Juha:
classic Arab folk humor by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Matthew R. Sorenson, Faisal Khadra. I recommend borrowing this one from a library.
Tales of the Hoja by John Noonan. From Saudi Aramco World.
A Man of Many Names by Paul Lunde. From Saudi Aramco World.