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New on the museum website - exhibits displayed in 3D
The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem, the only museum of its kind in Israel, offers the public a rare glimpse of some of the world’s rarest and most special collections which tell the tale of the Islamic world, from the 7th century through to the 19th century. The collections incorporate more than 4,000 works, including: gold and silver artifacts, jewelry, musical instruments, ceramics, scientific utensils, amazing calligraphy, fragile glass vessels, and copper, metal, wood and ivory artifacts.
Some of the exhibits can be viewed using 3D technology.
Egypt, 10th century / Earthenware, luster paint on opaque white glaze / H: 8 cm
Small jar with one handle and fixtures for attaching a now-missing lid, decorated with two running hares in golden-yellow on a white ground. The representation of animals – especially hares – was common in the art of the Fatimid period in Egypt. In Islamic literature, the hare is a symbol of good luck, fertility and prosperity.
Iraq, Basra, 10th century / Earthenware, luster paint on opaque white glaze / H: 6 cm; Diam.: 22 cm
Bowl with monochrome luster decoration. The design shows an antelope confronting a long-tailed bird on a background of small chevrons. The kufic inscription on the body of the antelope says: “blessing to its owner.“ Above the antelope, the artist inscribed his name: “work of ‘Ali.“ In the middle of the glazed foot, the word Baraka (blessing) is rendered in kufic script.
The initially abstract design style of the Abbasid luster wares developed in the 10th century and particularly in Iraq into a new decorative approach with animal designs. These are usually set on a stippled background.
By this time, potters had abandoned polychrome painting in favor of monochrome luster. Here, a single animal or a symmetrical pair was at the center of the design. The change of style may reflect the taste of the new elite formed when the Buyids arrived in Iraq.
Iran, Gurgan, 11th–12th centuries / Unglazed earthenware, cast in a mold / H: 36 cm Diam.; 22 cm
Jug flask with circular body, molded in two parts, with one handle and a long spout. Kufic inscriptions appear in the center of both sides. Relief ornamentation on one side consists of rosettes, leaves, pomegranates, dotted circles and confronted birds with intertwining necks. The inscription on the flat side reads: “Blessings and prosperity to the owner of this jug. Drink with enjoyment and health a lawful [beverage] that will strengthen you. From the [works] made by Khidash in the style of Gurgan.”
The jug recalls the pilgrim flask and is probably one of the earliest signed vessels in Islamic pottery.
Figurine of a female musician
Iran, Kashan, c. 1200 / Stonepaste, molded and painted in black under turquoise glaze / H: 16.5 cm.
Figurine of a female tambourine player wearing a pointed hat. Figurines represent a significant share of production at Kashan in the late Seljuq period; their broad range of subject matter includes birds, monkeys, lions, elephants, and sphinx. The human figures feature musicians and horsemen, among others.
Iran, first half of the 13th century / Brass, cast, pierced and engraved with silver inlay / H: 20 cm; Diam.: 9.6 cm.
Incense burner, cast in two sections and comprising a cylindrical body on three legs with prominent feet. The lid is dome-shaped with a finial at its apex. As with other incense burners of this type, the long tubular handle is missing. The dome is perforated to let the fumes escape. Two medallions on the base and four on the lid depict the moon as a female figure holding a crescent disc. The medallions set into a field of arabesque scrolls, as well as the figures and the naskhi inscription at the top of the lid, are inlaid with silver. The inscription reads: “Glory, longevity and exaltation“, followed by the signature of the artist, Husayn, son of Abu Bakr Sinni-i-Razi. This nisba (moniker) establishes the artisan as a native of al-Sinn, a village in the Rayy region, a southeastern suburb of modern Teheran.
Richly ornamented incense burners were always expensive and would have been owned only by the wealthiest members of society.
Iran, 13th century / Bronze, chased, and inlaid with silver and copper / H: 21 cm
Bell-shaped candlestick. The body is decorated with round medallions depicting revelers – one of them holding the self-same candlestick. The revelers also appear on the flat base of the neck interspersed with sun designs. A background of scrolls ornaments both body and neck. The candlestick is inscribed with blessings in kufic and pseudo-kufic script: “Glory, longevity, gratitude, life, tolerance, life and triumph over foes.“
Water pipe and base (huqqa)
India, 17th century / Gold, gemstones and enamel / 10 x 7 cm
Portable, mango-shaped base and pipe made of gold and green enamel and set with diamonds and rubies. The container is decorated with hunting scenes, floral scrolls, birds, running deer and a leopard attacking a bull.
Portable huqqa bases were designed to be held by the smoker; the mango shape fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. This water container was probably made for a noblewoman who would also have appreciated its fine craftsmanship.
* The pictures are provided courtesy of the Photograph Media Department, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem
Photography courtesy the Department of Photographic CommunicationHadassah Academic College Jerusalemhttps://www.facebook.com/moshe.caine