Ukraine, southern Russia, Caucasus or northern Iran
12th–early 13th century AD
silver sheet and wire, with repoussé, chased and lightly engraved decoration; gilded
2.5 x 2.7cm (square plaques); 2.3 x 1.8vm (terminal);
1.6 x 1.6cm (smaller heart-shaped plaques);
4.7 x 4.1cm (oval plaque)
The group consists of eight belt fittings with cusped edges. Three of these are nearly square, three heart-shaped, and one is a rectangular terminal with a rounded end. The eighth is oval with a more pronounced lobed edge, a central quatrefoil opening and a loop at one end, and may possibly be a buckle. They are decorated with a lion passant raising one forepaw, executed in repoussé, enhanced by chasing and light engraving, and gilded. Six of the fittings have rivets on the back with roughly cut polygonal washers. The back-plate of the rectangular terminal consists of two pieces of sheet, secured by two central rivets: this and its decoration suggest that it may have belonged to a different belt. The back-plate of the oval fitting is soldered on.
D. Alexander, The Arts of War. Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXI, London 1992, cat.6, pp.32–3. M. Spink & J. Ogden, The Art of Adornment, Jewellery of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVII, London 2013, cat.297–8, p.338. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.218, p.184.