Silver Bowl,
from Iran or Afghanistan, 11th century,
Hermitage, St. Petersburg



A larger image of the Silver Bowl from Iran or Afghanistan, 11th century, Hermitage, St. Petersburg, S-499

Title: Small Dish
Place of creation: Iran or Afghanistan
Date: Early 11th century
Material: silver
Technique: cast, carving
Dimensions: height: 2cm; diameter: 10.3 cm
Acquisition date: Entered the Hermitage in 1953; handed over by the State Purchasing Commission; purchased from a private person
Inventory Number: S-499
Category: Applied Arts
Collection: Oriental Art
The State Hermitage Museum



Referenced as Plate 84 on pp.200-201, Moya Catherine Carey, Painting the Stars in a Century of Change: A Thirteenth-Century Copy of Al-Ṣūfīís Treatise on the Fixed Stars (British Library Or. 5323) (Thesis University of London, 2001).

The drapery style continued in a less adulterated form in Iran itself. So much is clear from the 1009-10AD al-Ṣūfī manuscript, and a contemporary silver dish, attributed to early eleventh century Iran or Afghanistan [1009-10 An Oxford al-Ṣūfī Bootes, early eleventh-century silver bowl- PLATES 70A, 84].108 Together, these two artefacts demonstrate the continuity of this distinct Iranian style up to the eleventh-century. Three engraved and repoussť figures resemble the 1009-10 AD Oxford illustrations in almost every detail of costume.109 This shows that the style was still current when al-Ṣūfī's treatise was illustrated for the first time, although it was soon to disappear from general decorative use.

108 State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, inv.S-499. Cf. also two other early Islamic silver bowls: a 658AD silver bowl from Khwarazm (British Museum OA 1975.5-16.1: PLATE 79A), and a seventh-century AD (?) silver bowl (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; reproduced in Wellesz 1959 fig.38).
109 All three figures wear knee-length v-neck robes, wrapping across the body, with a round-necked undershirt beneath. Bell-shaped gathers fall from the waistline and form along the skirt-hem, and a small gather flares out to the side on two of the figures. On the sleeves, drapery-folds collect at the wrist. The ruler's robe consists of a short skirt over a longer one. The main figure wears a Sasanian style crown.



See also Plates with figures from Persia and Central Asia
Other 11th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers



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