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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Seljuk Bronze Mihbara Inkwell Inlaid with Silver
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Seljuk Bronze Mihbara Inkwell Inlaid with Silver - LO.1420
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 11th th Century AD to 12th th Century AD
Dimensions: 2.9" (7.4cm) high x 2.3" (5.8cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Bronze and Silver
Condition: Very Fine

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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The Seljuk Dynasty was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty which ruled parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to the 14th century establinshing the Seljuk Empire and the Sultanate of Rum in Central Anatolia. The dynasty had its origins in the Turcoman tribal confederations of Central Asia and marked the beginning of Turkic power in the Middle East. Today Seljuks are regarded as the cultural ancestors of the Western Turks, the present-day inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan; having gradually adopted and advanced Persian culture and used Persian as the official language of the government, they are chiefly remembered as great patrons of Persian culture, art and literature. The Seljuks are also known as being the targets of the First Crusade (1096-1099) This silver-inlaid bronze inkwell of squat cylindrical form, is furnished with suspension loops and hinges, as to be easily transported. It is decorated in silver inlay with inscriptions all around the rim, separated by three highly stylised encircled vegetal motifs. Inkwells could be free standing, attached to a pen-case, or carried suspended from a belt with cords through metal loops, as this piece. Practical considerations dictated that inkwells would have to be cylindrical, as to prevent the accumulation of dried ink in the corners. Inkwells from early Islamic Persia have been preserved in glass, pottery, and bronze or brass. The metal versions, of which the earliest extant examples are dated to the 10th or 11th century, are by far the most numerous whereas the vast majority of those surviving belong to the 12th-16th centuries. As cylindrical inkwells usually have domical lids they often resemble miniature contemporary funerary monuments. The traced and inlayed silver and copper ornamentations and interlacings of this piece clearly point to it’s East Iranian origins. Khurasan, 12th-13th Century - (LO.1420)


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