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    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 99

    AN UMAYYAD ANDALUCIAN CARVED MARBLE COLUMN BASE

    MEDINA AL-ZAHRA OR CORDOBA, SOUTH SPAIN, 10TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN UMAYYAD ANDALUCIAN CARVED MARBLE COLUMN BASE
    MEDINA AL-ZAHRA OR CORDOBA, SOUTH SPAIN, 10TH CENTURY
    The square base supporting an upper drum, the sides of the base carved with a band of alternating palmettes within foliate roundels, the upper spandrels with leafy motifs, the drum with a central concave band of roundel flowerheads divided by split palmettes between floral interlace and alternating flowerhead bands, one side missing, various chips and damages to extremities
    15¾in. (40cm.) wide


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    The attic column base type is the classic type of column base used in the city of Medina al-Zahra. The square base plinth occupies the lower one third of the total base height. Directly above the base is a bold decorative moulding, or torus, where trefoils alternate with almond-like shapes. The carving of the drum shows a band of arches and a motif of four dots above a twisted band. The top of the base is decorated with a second carved torus, slightly thinner than the former. The archaeological collection of Madina al-Zahra and the Archaelogical Museum of Cordoba have examples of similar bases, both in their shape and in their decoration (no 175.2 & no 30.152; El esplendor de los Omeyas cordobeses, la civilizacion musulmana de Europa occidental, Granada, 2001, pp.138-147)

    Column bases and capitals present very similar characteristics, both in their design and their workmanship. The highly carved and drilled design is typical of the decoration of that time, sometimes close to a honeycomb lattice as seen on capitals. Nevertheless, while the frieze of four-dots motif is not so commonly found on other column bases, it is found on marble panels such as those decorating the Salon Rico of Madina al-Zahra (M. Gomez-Moreno, Ars hispaniae, Historia universal del arte hispanico, Madrid, 1951, vol. III, p.78, fig. 110). At its back, the base has lost approximately a quarter of its depth. This could be the result of damage or could also have been done for the purpose of supporting an engaged column against a wall.

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