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Pair of Earrings

Object Name:
Earrings
Date:
11th century
Geography:
Syria
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Gold; filigree and granulation
Dimensions:
H. 1 5/16 In. (3.3 cm) W. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Classification:
Jewelry
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gifts in memory of Richard Ettinghausen and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.278.2a, b
  • Description

    An elaborate example of filigree and granulation work from the Fatimid period in Egypt and Greater Syria (969–1171), this pair of earrings is illustrative both of the most characteristic goldsmith work and of one of the most popular shapes for jewelry of this period–the hilal, or crescent (moon). The basic vocabulary–a box construction, rings for stringing pearls or semiprecious stones, openwork S-curves, arabesque designs, and the crescent shape itself–seems to have dominated jewelry production in the Fatimid world into the second half of the eleventh century and perhaps later. The influence of this vogue was widespread. Goldsmiths working under the Mamluks (1250–1517) adapted this vocabulary, as did jewelers of Nasrid Spain (1232–1492), while echoes reverberated into Kievan Russia, Ottoman Turkey, Mughal India, and North Africa.

  • Provenance

    [ McDougall Palmer Ltd., London, by 1978–79; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
452939:2

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