Drinking from a Golden Cup, Eating from a Silver Dish. Metalwork in Islamic Iranian Sources (11th–12th century)

in Annali Sezione Orientale
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Very few precious metalwork reached our age, against a large number of base metal objects. Historical sources related to the Eastern Iranian lands and dating to the 11th–12th century describe medieval Islamic courts as glittering with gold and silverware, on a continuity with the ancient Iranian culture strong enough to defy even religious bans. In particular, a high rank metalwork production is attested in Ghazni, during the period the city enjoyed the role of capital of the Eastern Iranian world.



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See Juynboll 1986: 109. The most ancient Persian encyclopaedia known so far (mid 12th century) includes a chapter devoted to licit and illicit things, the Kitāb al-halāl waʾl-ḥarām. It deals, among other topics, with the interdiction of gold and silver vessels. The ban involved not only tableware, but also perfume bottles and incense burners (Melikian-Chirvani 1982: 180).


See footnote n. 1, and Melikian-Chirvani (1986).


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