An Almoravid carved marble capital Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century

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Lot 35
An Almoravid carved marble capital
Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century

£ 30,000 - 50,000
US$ 40,000 - 67,000
An Almoravid carved marble capital
Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century
of flaring form with flattened edges to the top, carved to each side with a palmette medallion filled with palmettes flanked by split-palmettes, above and below bands of inscription in kufic
43 x 36 x 13 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Formerly in a private Spanish Collection, acquired approximately 100 years ago.

    This lot is accompanied by an export license from the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (no. 2018/02794).

    Inscriptions: the upper band a repeat of, 'afiyah kafiyah baqiyah wafiyah, 'Perfect, lasting, complete health'; in the smaller bands, al-yumn al-da'im wa al-taw/fiq wa al-salamah wa al-'izzah/wa al-kiramah li-sahibihi, 'Lasting good-fortune and power and well-being and glory and generosity to its owner'.

    The Almoravids (1062-1150) established themselves as a dynasty in North Africa, conquering Morocco and establishing Marrakech as a capital in 1062. They entered Spain in 1085 after the fall of Toledo and took control of al-Andalus in 1090, defining themselves as a major power in Northern Africa and Spain, which allowed for cross-cultural exchange throughout the region. They were pious and orthodox and therefore initially their modes of architectural decoration were fairly austere. However, later artistic production displays the more opulent aesthetic seen previously in the arts of al-Andalus which they had by then assimilated into their own style. Surviving Almoravid architecture in Morroco indicates that they took a great deal of inspiration from the Umayyad style, from monuments such as the Great Mosque of Cordoba. The form of the present lot is comparable to a basin produced in Spain in the 11th Century in the Hispanic Society of America collection (see Heather Ecker, Caliphs and Kings, Washington, 2004, pp. 28-9, no. 19). Although almost twice the length, the basin is decorated with similar palmette motifs and benedictory inscriptions in kufic around the top.
Contacts
An Almoravid carved marble capital Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century
An Almoravid carved marble capital Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century
An Almoravid carved marble capital Spain or North Africa, 11th/ 12th Century
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