Ghaznavid Bronze Bowl - CK.0156, Origin: Central Asia, Circa: 963 AD to 1187 AD, Dimensions: 8.625" (21.9cm) high x 8.625" (21.9cm) wide x 2.5" (6.4cm) depth, Collection: Islamic Art, Style: Ghaznavid, Medium: Metal Alloy. Metalwork in the Near East and Central Asia has always enjoyed a prestige beyond that of other applied arts such as ceramics and textiles. Major pieces were specially commissioned and often bear dedications to the princes and great nobles for whom they were made, together with the proudly inscribed names of their makers and decorators; their very durability and impressive appearance give them a high standing and dignity of their own. The best pieces were in bronze, either engraved, inlaid, overlaid or beaten in repousse', that is hammered out from behind of designs to appear in relief on the surface. The roots of Islamic metalwork are to be found in Byzantium and Persia. In the early 7th century the Arabs took over these two great empires and absorbed local metal techniques and typologies, and contributed to a new development in metalwork by adding inscriptions in kufic script. Not much is known of the art of metalwork in Persia and Central Asia in the early Islamic period, with the exception of few large dishes datable to the Ghaznavids.
Ancient Near East