TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS
TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS
TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS
TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS
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TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS

PROBABLY BANU HAD OR ALMORAVID ZARAGOZA, 12TH OR 13TH CENTURY

Details
TWO CARVED WOODEN CALLIGRAPHIC PANELS
PROBABLY BANU HAD OR ALMORAVID ZARAGOZA, 12TH OR 13TH CENTURY
Each panel carved in high relief with a single line of kufic, the ground decorated with split palmettes, raised edge top and bottom, later added raised ends on each short side, holes for mounting
Each 6 ¾ x 19 ¼in. (17.3 x 49.2cm.)
Provenance
Private Collection, Spain, by 1984

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Lot Essay

Inscription:
Qur'an III, surat al imran, v.18


These two panels, from the same original frieze, relate closely to the architecture of the Islamic taifas (independent principalities) of northern Al-Andalus, especially Saraqusta (Zaragoza). Epigraphically, the alifs are recognisable for their triangular ends with central dimple and the wheel-like letter mim is positioned halfway below the line. The vegetal ground is notable for boldly ribbed split-palmettes and circular ‘berries’ amongst the vines, as well as being carved at the same height as the calligraphy. These features are also found on several carved plaster friezes from the Aljaferia Palace in Zaragoza. A section is in the National Archaeological Museum, Madrid (acc. no. 50440), and another comparable section illustrated in Manuel Gomez-Moreno, Ars Hispaniae, Historia Universal del arte Hispanico, Volume three, Madrid, 1951, fig. 299, p. 242.

The Aljafería Palace was built by the Banu Hud ruler Ahmad I al-Muqtadir (r. 1049-1081). The taifa of Saraqusta was established by the Banu Hud following the collapse of the Caliphate of Cordoba in 1013 until they were defeated by the Almoravid dynasty in 1110. The city was only briefly ruled by the Almoravids until it was conquered by Alfonso I of Aragon in 1118.

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