Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Bronze Rose Water Sprinkler
Click to view original image.
Bronze Rose Water Sprinkler - LO.679
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 11 th Century AD to 12 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6.25" (15.9cm) high
Collection: Islamic art
Style: Seljuk
Medium: Quarternary Bronze


Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Description
Metalwork in the Near East and Central Asia has always enjoyed a prestige beyond that of other applied arts such as ceramics and textiles. Major pieces were specially commissioned and often bear dedications to the princes and great nobles for whom they were made, together with the proudly inscribed names of their makers and decorators; their very durability and impressive appearance give them a high standing and dignity of their own. The best pieces were in bronze, either engraved, inlaid, overlaid or beaten in repousse', that is hammered out from behind of designs to appear in relief on the surface. The roots of Islamic metalwork are to be found in Byzantium and Persia. In the early 7th century the Arabs took over these two great empires and absorbed local metal techniques and typologies, and contributed to a new development in metalwork by adding inscriptions in kufic script. Not much is known of the art of metalwork in Persia and Central Asia in the early Islamic period, with the exception of few large dishes datable to the Ghaznavids, until the Seljuq period, when new forms started to appear, while lavish inlays and incrustation of gold, silver and copper crept onto the surface.

This rosewater sprinkler (qumqum) features a cylindrical body with a domed shoulder, a constriction and a broad rounded collar leading to a relatively large splayed faceted neck terminating with a closed perforated mouth, incised with an endless knot. Below the rim a band of incised horizontal lines. On the body, the main area is embossed with small round mdallions and further engraved with endless knots roundels. The bottom repeated the band of horizontal lines found below the rim.

This water sprinkler was probably made of high tin bronze- an alloy of copper and about 20 per cent tin. This alloy was known in early Islamic times as asfidroy, literally 'white copper' and was used for bowls, stem bowls, dishes, ewers and candlesticks. amongst the particular properties of high tin bronze is that it can be red-hot forged, like iron, and if quenched, becomes reasonably malleable when cold. If permitted to cool slowly than hammered, it shatters. Three centres of quarternary bronze manufacture are recorded in Islamic texts of the 10th-11th centuries: Rabinjian near Bukhara, Hamadan in western Persia and Sistan province in eastern Persia. Transoxiana, i.e. Eastern Persia and Afghanistan, provided the inspiration for the Hamadan industry as well and kept on producing high-tin copper alloy vessels well into the 13th century, although with less originality than before.

The quality of engraving and the patterns featured on this water sprinkler would seem to indicate a 12th-13th centuries dating and a Transoxiana provenance. - (LO.679)

 

Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2020 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved

contact-form@barakatgallery.com - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting