Fatimid, 10th-11th century CE
Materials and technique
Height 2.5 cm
Gold jewellery, including necklaces of biconical and spherical beads, pendants, and a variety of rings, all made from gold filigree work and embellished with gold granulation, were produced in tenth- and eleventh-century Fatimid Egypt and Greater Syria. This ring reflects the superb craftsmanship of the goldsmiths who made them. It exhibits typical Fatimid filigree arabesques and S-shapes with granulation. This filigree work was called mushhabbak (latticework) in twelfth-century trousseau lists from the Cairo Geniza documents, which are an important source for the study of mediaeval Mediterranean history (Jenkins-Madina 1997, pp. 419-20, citing Goitein 1967-83, vol. 4, pp. 211-12). The influence of the Fatimid goldsmiths’ work extended far and wide; the goldsmiths’ decorative vocabulary was adapted later by the Mamluks (1250-1517 CE) and in Spain by the Nasrids (1230-1492 CE).
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