Ukraine, southern Russia, Caucasus or northern Iran
12th–early 13th century AD
cast and sheet silver and wire, gilded
5.7cm (height, plaque with buckle);
2.8cm (pentagonal plaques);
2.4cm (hexagonal plaques);
2.2cm (diameter, roundel)
These belt or harness fittings consist of a buckle connected to a pentagonal plaque, seven pentagonal plaques and four pierced elements, three hexagonal and one round. All bear decoration in high relief and are gilded. The plaque attached to the buckle has a figure of a lion passant with one forepaw raised. The pentagonal plaques have a pair of lions rampant, with their tails and tongues entwined along the centre, and a third crouching lion below them. The pierced roundel has two confronted animals of indeterminate species, and the hexagonal elements have floral or vegetal decoration. The back of each fitting has three rivets, some of which retain square or polygonal washers roughly cut from sheet.
Despite the similarities in material and technique, the differences in decoration suggest that the fittings may have belonged to more than one belt, but of the same workshop.
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.299, p.339. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.218, p.184.