A large Ghaznavid high tin bronze Tray
Lot 61
A large Ghaznavid high tin bronze Tray Persia, 11th Century
£15,000 - 20,000
US$ 25,000 - 33,000

Lot Details
A large Ghaznavid high tin bronze Tray
Persia, 11th Century
with slightly rounded base and upright rim, incised with a large medallion containing two bands of interlacing roundels, the outer band filled with signs of the zodiac with an identifying inscription above, the inner band with seated rulers, centred on a rosette with personification of the sun, the outer border with a wide band of thuluth inscription and cable-band
45.5 cm. diam.

Footnotes

  • The inscriptions read: bi'l-yumn w al-baraka wa al-surur wa al-salama wa al-sa'ada wa al-nusra wa al-bikra wa al-shukra wa al-salama wa al-sa'ada wa al-nusra wa al-shukra wa al-; 'With Good-fortune and Blessing and Joy and Well-being and Happiness and Victory and Purity and Gratitude and Well-being and Happiness and Victory and Gratitude and'.

    Due to the popularity of astrology in the Medieval Islamic world, it became common to decorate objects with zodiac signs and personifications of the planets, as seen on the present lot. This reflected the belief that objects with astrological decoration had talismanic powers and sometimes evne symbolised the power of the patron.

    The symbols used to depict the signs of the zodiac were based on imagery used by ancient Greek astronomers to describe them. For a discussion of the topic, see Stefano Carboni, Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1997.
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