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    Sale 7715

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    31 March 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 106

    A LARGE FARS SILVER INLAID BRASS BOWL

    SOUTH IRAN, 14TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE FARS SILVER INLAID BRASS BOWL
    SOUTH IRAN, 14TH CENTURY
    With rounded base and slightly everted sides rising to a ribbed rim, the shoulder engraved with circular medallions with an inscription in deep attenuated muhaqqaq on dense foliate scrolls, interrupted by medallions with equestrian and hunting scenes, between bands of chasing animals and floral arabesques, with large trefoiled motifs dropping to the base, the interior engraved with a solar motif and a ground of whirling fish, rubbed, no inlay remaining
    17¼in. (43.8cm.) diam.


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    The inscription with unusual terms and combinations reads al-'izz wa al-iqbal wa,al-ni'ma wa al-...,al-majd wa al-ifzal,wa al-karam wa al-'ilm wa a,l-hilm wa,i'mal wa al-ijmal (ihmal) wa al-i,kmal al-akhlaq,[wa] al-ihsan wa al-..., (Glory and Prosperity and (God's) Grace and ... and Splendour and Excellence and Generosity and Knowledge and Forbearance and [causing] to apply [well] and ... and perfecting Manners and Charity and...).

    The patronage of the Injuids rulers of Shiraz and Fars (1304-1357) is responsible for a rich and numerous production of metalwork of which the decoration of the present bowl is characteristic. A brass box in the Louvre in the form of a mausoleum shows a very similar medallions with horsemen and laudatory inscriptions written in the same elongated naskh (Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, The Legacy of Genghis Khan, Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353, New York, 2003, fig.246). Each of the three medallions of this box illustrates a horseman in action, two of them hunting with a bow or a hawk, in a similar depiction to that on the present example. The band of chasing animals above the main register finds a comparison in a candlestick in Edinburgh dated to the early 14th century (Komaroff and Carboni, op. cit., fig.228).

    This bowl has now lost its inlay. However, the spandrels between each medallion were almost certainly inlaid with large panels of silver as the surface of these spaces is not otherwise engraved and the edges are undercut to retain the panel. This unusual embellishment is another justification for Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani's qualification of Fars metalwork as "one of the richest and most complex forms of artistic creation in the Iranian lands" (in Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, op. cit., p.221).

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