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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Seljuk Inlaid Bronze Lidded Vase
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Seljuk Inlaid Bronze Lidded Vase - OF.278
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1100 AD to 1300 AD
Dimensions: 9.75" (24.8cm) high
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: AS

Location: UAE
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The art of metalwork has been one of the principal forms of artistic expression in the Islamic world. Responding to the taste and needs of different social and economic classes, artists continuously explored the technical and decorative potential of their materials to transform simple, functional objects into highly refined works of art.

In the late tenth century, metalworkers in Central Asia began to manufacture brass and bronze objects inlaid with designs in gold, silver and copper. This technique allowed metalworkers to decorate their vessels with scenes associated to courtly life, astrological signs and bold calligraphic depictions to the rulers. Although the art of inlay was already known in West Asia since at least the sixth century, it reached new levels of artistic and technical sophistication after the arrival of Islam. The vessels are among the most powerful expressions of the social, political and cultural life and aspiration of the individuals and societies to which they were created.

This inlaid bronze vessel is a glorious example of the mastery of Islamic metalworkers during the Seljuk period. The shape of the vessel is inherent in its function. The inlaid decoration is restricted to the lid and upper part of the vase. This includes a finely drawn band of a human- headed nakshi benedictory on the top rim of the body. A finial in the form of a bird flapping its wings surmounts the lobed lid, which itself is stylistically pierced. The bird serves as both a knob and as decoration. An undulated handle is attached on the globular body and is surmounted by a feline finial. The globular body rests on a finely pierced foot. The vessel as a whole merges the functional form of the jug with the decorative adornments. - (OF.278)


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