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Geography:Attributed to Syria
Dimensions:H. 1/8 in. (.3 cm) Diam. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Richard S. Perkins Gift, Rogers Fund, Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, Norbert Schimmel, Jack A. Josephson, and Edward Ablat Gifts, 1979
This bracelet shows a stylistic dependence on the type of hollow Iranian bracelet exemplified by bracelet MMA 57.88a–c: in addition, it incorporates several features found on other Iranian objects. The setting cup, for instance, is similar to those on the gold hair ornament MMA 1979.95; and some of the bracelets in the same group as this bracelet exhibit variations of the type of twisted wire shank seen on the pair of Iranian bracelets MMA 52.32.2, .3. However, it bears so many parallels to early medieval bracelets found in Syria that we feel more inclined to attribute it to that country.
The general similarities of this hollow, tapered, repoussé-decorated shank to that of no. 57.88a–c are obvious. The intricacy of the shank design, however, is unknown on early medieval Iranian hollow bracelets, whereas such shanks are quite common on hollow bracelets from Syria. Although none of the latter has the specific design found on the Museum's bracelet, some of them–including no. 58.37–share the same feature of outlining the decoration with punches, although there does not appear to be any piercing. The precision and grace of the floral design on the shank of this bracelet make it stand out among all repoussé worked medieval examples.
Another feature unknown on Iranian bracelets but often found on early medieval Syrian bracelets is the type of clasp construction, best seen from the back. Three cylinders, two small and one large, flank the ends of the shank and support at their tops three shot, which are in turn surrounded by granules. The same arrangement is found on several other bracelets. The cylinders support either three hemispheres as on an example in the National Museum, Damascus (no. 2799/4) or a combination of shot, hemispheres, and stones National Museum, Damascus no. 2800/4). Usually accompanying such an arrangement as seen here is a set stone that straddles the hinge.[3 The arrangement of the granules on either side of the hinge is very closely paralleled on objects of Syrian as well as Iranian origin.
[Jenkins and Keene 1983]
1. National Museum, Damascus, 2842/ 4; Jenkins, Marilyn, and Keene, Manuel. "Djawhar." The Encyclopaedia of Islam, supplement to vol. 2, fasc. 3-4. Leiden, 1982, fig. 16a; Al-'Ush, Abu-1-Faraj; Joundi, A.; and Zouhdi, B. Catalogue du Musée National de Damas. Damascus, 1969, fig. 11 b; L'lslam dans les collections nationales, exhibition catalogue. Grand Palais, Paris, 1977, no. 359; Museum für lslamische Kunst Berlin. Berlin, 1971, no. 157.
2. Al-'Ush, Abu-1-Faraj; Joundi, A.; and Zouhdi, B. Catalogue du Musée National de Damas. Damascus, 1969, fig. 119; Collection Helene Stathatos, vol. 4, 1971, pp. 73–74, pl. XI.
3. Al-'Ush, Abu-1-Faraj; Joundi, A.; and Zouhdi, B. Catalogue du Musée National de Damas. Damascus, 1969, fig. 19.
4. Jenkins and Keene, 1982 (note 1), fig. 15.
[ Saeed Motamed, Frankfurt, until 1979; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Jewelry in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 22–August 14, 1983, no. 44.
Paris. Institut du Monde Arabe. "Tresors Fatimides du Caire," April 28, 1998–August 30, 1998, no. 73.
Islamic, Abbasid period (750–1258), 8th–9th century
Bronze; cast, pierced, and incised
H. 5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm)
Gr. L. 9 1/2 in. (24.2 cm)
Attributed to: Iran
Fletcher Fund, 1976
." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36 (1975–1979). p. 18, ill. (color).
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983. no. 44, p. 77, ill. (b/w).
"Exposition Présentée à l'Institut du Monde Arabe du 28 Avril au 30 Aout 1998." In Trésors Fatimides du Caire. Paris: Institut du Monde Arabe, 1998. no. 73, p. 134, ill. (color).
Seipel, Wilfried. "Islamische Kunst zur Fatimidenzeit." In Schatze der Kalifen. Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1999. no. 89, pp. 123, 125, ill. p. 125 (color).
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