Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ring Weight

Object Name:
Ring weight
Attributed to Egypt
Glass; tooled and stamped
H. 2 in. (5.1 cm) W. 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm) D. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) Wt. 13.465 oz. (381.769 g)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
Not on view

The innovative system of control by weights and measures distributed by Umayyad and Abbasid authorities also included heavier weights, produced at the same official glass workshops as coin weights and vessel stamps. These heavier weights usually took the form of large glass disks or heavy glass rings, made by folding thick bars of viscous glass. Glass rings could be suspended from a string. Due to the thick, hot, viscous material of these larger objects, the inscription of the stamp is rarely clearly legible. This one names the calip al-Mutawakkil ‘ala Allah (r. 847–61) and has the weight of a ratl.

Stefan Heidemann in [Evans and Ratliff 2012]
Inscription: Arabic (two identical stamps). Translation (SH 2011):
In the name of God, the Merciful Benefactor, / (God ordered with justice and) honesty / (and therefore) ordered this 'Abdallah /Ja'far, the Imam al-Mutawakkil /('ala Allah) the Commander of the Believers (May) God (prolong his) life.

Marking: Two stamps (see Inscriptions)
[ Michael Casira, Cairo, until 1908; sold to A.M. Lythgoe for MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," March 14, 2012–July 8, 2012, no. 96.

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Glass: A Brief History." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 44, no. 2 (Fall 1986). p. 53, ill. fig. 74 (color).

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 96, pp. 146-7, ill. (color).

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