Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Earrings

Object Name:
11th century
Attributed to Syria
Gold; filigree and granulation
H. 1 5/16 In. (3.3 cm) W. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gifts in memory of Richard Ettinghausen and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.278.2a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
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.
[ McDougall Palmer Ltd., London, by 1978–79; sold to MMA]
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 101.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Glory of Byzantium," March 11–July 6, 1997, no. 277.

"M.M.A. Notable Acquisitions 1979–80." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 37 (1979–1980). p. 16, ill. p. 16 (b/w).

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983. no. 51a, p. 85, ill. (b/w).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 101, pp. 246-247, ill. p. 247 (b/w).

Evans, Helen, and William D. Wixom, ed. "Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era A.D. 843–1261." In The Glory of Byzantium. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 277, p. 420, ill. fig. 277 (color).

Carboni, Stefano. "The Arts of the Fatimid Period at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Ismaili (2008). p. 10, ill. fig. 18 (color).

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