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The Art of Adornment: Jewellery of the Islamic lands – Part One


Published 2013

Part One
Michael Spink and Jack Ogden with contributions
by J.M. Rogers and Manijeh Bayani

The magnificent holdings of Islamic jewellery in the Collection are more comprehensive than any other published collection. This two-part volume includes virtually every form of personal adornment – head, hair and headdress ornaments; earrings; nose rings; pendants; beads; necklaces; bracelets, armlets and anklets; armband elements; amulets and amulet cases; pins and brooches; buttons; belts and belt fittings – as well as harness fittings – in a wide range of materials and techniques – gold, silver and copper alloys with niello, enamel and inset gems.

There are nearly 600 catalogued pieces dating from the 7th to the 20th centuries, and from across the Islamic world, from Spain to Malaysia, North Africa to the Eurasian steppes.

Outstanding within the Collection are the Fatimid objects, which incorporate the ‘rope-and-grain’ filigree characteristic of Egypt or Syria; Iranian bracelets of the 10th–13th centuries, of gold sheet decorated with set gems, niello and granulation; and a two-headed eagle from 18th-century Morocco, in gold filigree and set gems. The catalogue examines the role of jewellery in Muslim societies and attempts to place certain forms in the context of other cultures, from Byzantium to Liao China. Other essays introduce the materials and technology of jewellery-making, discuss the origins of ‘spiral filigree’ and present a significant group of copper-alloy harness fittings from Nasrid Spain.

Separate catalogue volumes have been devoted to the Collection’s holdings of rings (vol. XVI) and to jewels from Mughal India (vol. XVIII).

About the author(s)

Michael Spink – Independent researcher, lecturer and writer on Islamic and Indian art; Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain

Dr Jack Ogden – Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; former Chief Executive, Gemmological Association of Great Britain; specialist in the historical development of jewellery materials and techniques

The late Professor J.M. Rogers – Fellow of the British Academy; Honorary Curator, Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art; Former Deputy Keeper of the Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum, London; inaugural Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; specialist in many aspects of Islamic culture and history, especially Seljuk and Ottoman arts

Manijeh Bayani – Specialist in Persian and Arabic epigraphy; contributor to most of the catalogues in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art series


set of two parts; 702 pages (the set); fully illustrated in colour, numerous line and colour drawings, section on inscriptions with translations; hardback with dust jackets (slipcased); 36 x 26 cm; 2013; ISBN: 978-1-874780-86-1; 1-874780-86-2



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