Fatimid, 11th century CE
Materials and technique
Length 4.7 cm
This miniature case is a beautiful example of granulated filigree decoration of the Fatimid period, and reflects the goldsmith’s skill with different patterns on each side. The front has dense foliate scrollwork formed into a programme of circles and triangles around a central panel (with missing inset), while the reverse exhibits a geometric lattice based on interlocking hexagons. The case would probably have contained a miniature Qur’an and hung around the wearer’s neck, suspended by two loops (one is missing here). 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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