All Collections
Previous Next
Back to Collection

Stirrup Ring

JLY 1847 | Fatimid Egypt or Syria | 11th–12th century

Print Download

Artwork Details

Title: Stirrup Ring

Date: 11th–12th century

Location: Fatimid Egypt or Syria

Materials: gold sheet, wire and granulation

Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.3 cm; weight 5.4g

Accession Number: JLY 1847

Other Notes:

This gold filigree ring is among the finest rings made in the Fatimid period. It was assembled from several prefabricated rope-and-grain components and has a liner of sheet gold. Although this type of construction was widespread in the Fatimid period, the workmanship of cthis ring is exceptional. The interior tie-bars that back the rope-and-grain filigree are almost imperceptible. Some wire ropes forming the skeleton appear to have been flattened slightly before the grains were attached: possibly paired ropes that had been pre-soldered were gently hammered over a metal former to even them up before they were combined with each other to make the ring. Further evidence of care taken to ensure the proper alignment of the parts is the presence of a short length of bent gold wire that would have held the two halves of the ring together during the soldering process. This level of attention extends even to the liner of the ring: it is decorated with applied rope filigree and rows of grains hide its seams.

The oval bezel sits on a band of figure-of-eight loops, which is bevelled so that it is flush with the line of the shoulders, a feature seen sometimes in other rings of this type. The top has a figure-of-eight border surrounding a geometric design of openwork rope-and-grain filigree. On each shoulder is an openwork cross within a figure-of-eight scroll border, set between ornate palmettes. Whether it was included as a specifically Christian symbol is uncertain, though its conspicuous position does suggest that its incorporation was deliberate.


M. Wenzel, Ornament and Amulet. Rings of the Islamic Lands, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVI, London 1993, cat.141, pp.44, 52 and 206.
M. Spink and J. Ogden, The Art of Adornment. Jewellery of the Islamic World, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVII, Part One, London 2013, cat.74, pp.154–5.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.76, pp.82–3.

Related Artworks

Small Flask

JLY 1075
Jaipur, India

Youth in European Dress and Young Woman with Indian Headdress, from a Shahnamah

MSS 1000.1, MSS 1000.2
Isfahan, Iran


POT 684

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 154
Ottoman Turkey

Mail and Plate Shirt

MTW 1158
Northern Caucasus
for the Persian or Ottoman market

Two ‘Hands of Fatimah’

JLY 1923
India, possibly Hyderabad (Deccan)

Calligraphic Practice Sheet

CAL 266
Qazvin, Iran

Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

KFQ 90
Iran, Isfahan

Carpet with Star Medallions

TXT 213
Ushak, western Anatolia, Turkey

Mosque Lamp

GLS 572

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 45
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 50
Middle East

Five Folios from a Qur’an

KFQ 52
Middle East or North Africa

Two Folios from the ‘Blue Qur’an’

KFQ 53
North Africa or Spain

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 60
probably the Hijaz

Two Bifolios from a Qur’an

KFQ 82
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 93
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Large Qur’an

KFQ 96
probably North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur'an

KFQ 34
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 84
Middle East or North Africa



Khalili Collections Logo

Share this page