Dating ancient brass

26 Nov

For example, a tall, pear-shaped cast bronze ewer, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and set on a high foot with handle in the form of an elongated panther exemplifies the transition from the Late Antique to the early Islamic period (Figure 1).Abstract ornament on the body of the vessel combines vegetal designs with a highly stylized version of the paired wings and central orb of the Sasanian royal crown, while the pattern of overlapping floral petals on the foot and the feline handle hark back to the classicizing influence in Parthian art (Harper, pp. On the other hand, the stylization and abstraction of the decoration and the proliferation of repetitive surface decoration are singular features of Islamic art. During this period Iranian metalwork underwent considerable modification in terms of technical, iconographic, and aesthetic standards.Other shapes include shallow dishes, deep basins and covered bowls, and candlesticks that occasionally preserve sockets in the form of a pair of entwined dragons.The inlay technique is much finer than earlier, using slender strips of sheet metal and wire.Iranian metalwork is therefore an important resource for understanding the art Iran in the Islamic period in particular and the history of Islamic art in general. Silver and gold plate, especially the former, provide a well-documented art form in Sasanian Iran and in pre-Islamic western Central Asia.Sasanian silver vessels (bowls, dishes, cups, ewers, and bottles), often decorated with imperial symbolism such as the royal hunt (Harper and Meyers, pp.It survives mainly in brass (see BERENJ) and bronze.Most gold and silver wares, better known through literary accounts, were likely melted down (Ward, pp. At times, echoing the forms of more ephemeral or less costly materials such as ceramics, metalwork from Iran and adjacent lands served a wide variety of utilitarian functions.

Written sources are an important means of documenting this medium.

Although the mechanism for transmission is not always clear, it is apparent that Jaziran (i.e., of Upper Mesopotamia) and Syro-Egyptian metalwork of this period also benefited from as well as contributed to these developments in Iran (Ward, pp. Sometime toward the middle of the 12th century, the metalwork industry in Iran underwent a major transformation that was to be of signal importance for its history.

Bronze and brass objects, some of them copying shapes in precious metal, were inlaid with silver and copper or gold.

Bowls, deep basins, flat trays, and tall bell-shaped candlesticks predominate. Several examples of inlaid brass objects are inscribed with the names of members of the Il-khanid dynasty, the most impressive of which is an unusual composite vessel known as the Nisan Tasi, in the Mevlavi (Mawlawi) Tekke Museum in Konya, of which its basin and support stand bear the name and titles of Abu Saʿid Bahādor Khan (r. A number of examples of luxury metalwork can be linked to Fars on the basis of their inscriptions, for example a candlestick dateable to ca. Among the signed objects, several include affiliations () formed after place names near Herat, which must have been the main center of production.

The decoration is largely figural and often closely follows the style of contemporary manuscript illustration, especially in the first half of the 14th century. 1343-53, in the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha (Qatar), inscribed with the name and titles of the Injuid ruler Abu Esḥāq (r. A larger group can likewise be attributed to Khorasan in the 15th-16th centuries by analogy with the signed and dated wares (Komaroff, 1992a, pp. Primarily cast in brass, these objects can be divided into two general types: one inlaid with precious metal, the other engraved and tinned.