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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Incised Ghaznavid Bowl
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Incised Ghaznavid Bowl - FZ.139A
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 9 th Century AD to 13 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4.75" (12.1cm) high x 9.25" (23.5cm) wide
Catalogue: V1
Collection: Islamic Art
Style: Ghaznavid
Medium: Metal Alloy

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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It is possible that the bronze of this bowl has been mixed with silver or gold, for the underlying sheen is very bright. One of a pair, it is inscribed with patterns derived from that most ancient of motifs, the circle. This geometric decoration--austere yet elegant--is very much in keeping with the artistic traditions of early Islam. . FZ.139. Bowl, hammered and raised high- tin bronze with engraved and punched decoration. Almost hemisperical in shape with a flat base; decorated with large double lined roundels and a band of punched-dottedcircles between twin filets below the rim. Iran, 9th – 10th century. Comparative material: A.S. Melikian- Chirvani, „The White Bronzes of Early Islamic Iran”, Metropolitan Museum Journal, New York, vol. 9, 1974, figs. 19 and 23; Géza Fehérvári, „High Tin Bronze Objects in the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait, Islamic Art, vol. 6, 2009, fig.7. The Ghaznavids started as Turkish slave governors of the Samanids in the Afghanistan area around Ghazna, which became an important cultural centre under their rule. Due to the previous Persian influences, the Turkic Ghaznavids became fully Persianised. Shah Mahmud expanded their empire from India to Iran. The Ghaznavids lost Iran to the Seljuks, and much of Afghanistan to the Gurids who sacked Ghazna in 1151. The capital was moved to Lahore until it was captured by the Ghurids in 1186. The objects produced under the Ghaznavids often contained a high percentage of tin. Although this type of “high-tin bronze” was difficult to manipulate because of its hardness, it was favoured because of its likeness to silver. Ghazna was an important centre of metalwork production and culture. The great poet Ferdawsi dedicated his Shahnameh to Mahmud of Ghazna. Prof. Geza Fehervari Prof. Geoffrey King - (FZ.139A)


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