A Fatimid plaque in the form of a hare
Lot 74
A Fatimid bronze Plaque in the form of a hare Egypt, 11th-12th Century
£5,000 - 7,000
US$ 8,400 - 12,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
A Fatimid bronze Plaque in the form of a hare
Egypt, 11th-12th Century
shown leaping forward with pulled-back ears, outstretched front leg and hind leg retracted, with elegantly poised feet, its tail flicked gently upwards, decorated with trefoil design to shoulder and haunch and delineated ears, two protruding elements for fastening to reverse
3cm. long


  • Provenance: French private collection.

    This elegantly executed plaque was a fitting possibly for a piece of clothing or belt of some sort. The charming way the animal is executed is testimony to the Fatimid love of naturalism, particularly in their portrayal of animals in general, and the hare more specifically. Examples of hares depicted in profile with laid back ears can be found on carved wood panels and carved ivory panels in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo (Tresors fatimides du caire, Institut du monde arabe, Paris, 1998, Inv. 13979 and Inv. 3180, nos. 10-11).

    An almost identical Fatimid cast bronze hare is in the Keir Collection (Fehevari, Islamic Metalwork, Faber and Faber, 1976, no 33); and another in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, has the same short upwards flicking tail (The Arts of Islam, Hayward Gallery, London, 1976, no. 169).

    A pottery bowl in the Musee du Louvre, Paris (inv. 6044) attributed to 12th century Syria depicts a hare with feet similarly spread and laid back ears with central delineation very similar to our example (illustrated in Arabesques et jardins de paradis, Musee du Louvre, Paris, 1989, no. 95, p. 121).
  1. Matthew Thomas
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
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    United Kingdom
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