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
Marble panel with man and monkey, Ghaznavid, early 12th century. Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany.
Other 11th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers



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