Name of Object:
Pair of earrings
Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum
Date of Object:
Hegira 5th century / AD 11th century
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Gold, granulated filigree.
Height 3.3 cm, width 3.5 cm; weight of a single earring approx. 18 g
Period / Dynasty:
The two earrings are crescent-shaped. They are double-sided and open at the top. The earrings’ two sides differ from one another. One side consists of a crescent-shaped area in which two spiralling tendrils mirror each other symmetrically. The area is bordered by a row of gold pearls. The other side consists of a small semi-circular area encompassing symmetrical tendrils, framed by a wide border that is made up of six half-spheres, their surface completely granulated. The presence of eyelets demonstrates that at one time each side of both earrings were hung with strings of pearls. The pearls no longer exist.
View Short Description
This pair of gold earrings, which once had additional pearls, is typical of Fatimid art. In the shape of a crescent, the two sides have different designs. One side has a symmetrical plant pattern, while the other is adorned by a row of six half-pearls. Jewellery was widely traded in the Islamic world.
How date and origin were established:
A sister pair of earrings formed in the same shape was found in Fustat (Old Cairo) indicating that these earrings have come from Fatimid Egypt.
How Object was obtained:
Bought from a dealer in Aleppo, 1913.
How provenance was established:
The discovery in Fustat (Old Cairo) of a sister pair made in the same shape, as well as the markings, which betray certain origins, point to an Egyptian provenance for this pair of earrings.
Gladiss, A. v., Schmuck im Museum für Islamische Kunst. Berlin, 1998, no. 23, 94, ill. 73.
Citation of this web page:
Annette Hagedorn "Pair of earrings" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;de;Mus01;43;en
Prepared by: Annette Hagedorn