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History of Islamic Era Furniture

The following research is about furniture created and designed in different Islamic Design periods, starting from the 9th century till modern period of 15th century. It shows the type and functions for which people used to create those furniture pieces, familiarize with some extraordinary ones and talk about different techniques of furniture decorations.

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History of Islamic Era Furniture

  2. 2. Contents ◦ Different types of furnitures designed. ◦ Furniture classification for different period. ◦ Elements to distinguish between furnitures. ◦ Concept behind their design and arts. ◦ Technologies used to make furnitures. ◦ Materials used.
  5. 5. Umayyad Dynasty https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_art#Beginnings https://www.pinterest.com/pin/338332990751021849/
  6. 6. Abbasid Dynasty • The Abbasid dynasty (750 AD – 1258[56]) witnessed the movement of the capital from Damascus to Baghdad, and then from Baghdad to Samarra. • Calligraphy began to be used in surface decoration on pottery during this period. Storage chest, wood, carved and inlaid with ebony and bone. Modern lid and inlays partly modern Iraq, Mosul; c. 1240 Late Abbasid Period H: 81.2; W: 80; D: 50 cm Frit wares https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_art#Beginnings https://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic/dynasties/late-abbasids
  8. 8. Fatimid Dynasty https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/fati/hd_fati.htm
  9. 9. https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/few-fatimid-luxury-art-items-from- the-north-african-phase-have-survived/ • A North African Fatimid luxury artwork to have survived is an ivory box made for Imam al-Mu’izz at Mansuriyya between 953 and 973, currently in the Archaeological Museum, Madrid. • The box is now held together with iron hinges and clamps Ivory box made for Imam al-Mu’izz at Mansuriyya (Image: Arts of the City Victorious) Stunning & elaborate inlaid console table with mother of pearl inlay. Hand-carved with Fatimid medieval period flowing designs on solid walnut. Fatimid carvings. Hand-inlaid with Mother of pearl. 18" D X 45" W X 37" H. https://www.akbik.com/walnut-console-table-with-a-mirror-inlaid-with-mother-of-pearl
  10. 10. Mamluk Dynasty https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/maml/hd_maml.htm
  11. 11. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;eg;Mus01;2;en Inlaid metal kursi made for Sultan Qala’un Richard Yeomans,The Art and Architecture of Islamic Cairo, 2006
  12. 12. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;de;Mus01;31;de
  13. 13. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/arts-islamic-world-l15220/lot.16.html A Mamluk silver-inlaid brass pyxis, Syria or Egypt, 14th century http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com
  14. 14. http://islamic-arts.org/2012/the-masterpiece-minbar/
  15. 15. http://islamic-arts.org/2012/the-masterpiece-minbar/ Richard Yeomans,The Art and Architecture of Islamic Cairo, 2006
  16. 16. Spain and Maghreb
  17. 17. A Nasrid or Post-Nasrid ivory-inlaid walnut chair Andalusia, 15th century height 35 in. 89 cm http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/fine-european- furniture-n08879/lot.252.html http://www.aljantiques.com/archives/a-rare-nasrid-or-nasrid-revival-small-wooden-cabinet-inlaid-with-marquetry-wood- work-ivory-ebony-and-white-metal-andalusia-or-spain-probably-15th-19th-century.html
  18. 18. https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/christies-south-kensington/catalogue-id- srchristi10277/lot-97bfb70c-41c6-4625-b786-a51500e3cb56 POST-NASRID MOSAIC VENEERED WOOD CASKET ANDALUSIA, 15TH CENTURY Rectangular form with hinged cover, the front and sides veneered in a variety of woods and bone with two panels each containing four interlaced eight-pointed stars containing rosettes within similar borders 21¾ x 12¼ x 9 3/8in. (55.3 x 31.2 x 23.2cm.) https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/furniture-lighting/a-post-nasrid-mosaic-veneered-wood-casket- andalusia-5421941-details.aspx
  19. 19. NASRID MARQUETRY WOOD BOX Granada, Spain, 15th Century 21.6 x 16.4 x 9.5 cm http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24197/lot/117/?category=list&length=100&page=2
  20. 20. Iran and Central Asia • In Iran and the north of India, the Tahirids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, and Ghurids struggled for power in the 10th century, and art was a vital element of this competition. • The Seljuqs, nomads of Turkic origin from present-day Mongolia, appeared on the stage of Islamic history toward the end of the 10th century. They seized Baghdad in 1048, before dying out in 1194 in Iran. • There are three Iranian period during the 13th century, Ilkhanids, The Golden Horde and the Timurids.
  21. 21. Turkish Sejluk Furniture http://magiccityistanbul.blogspot.com/2014/01/turkish-woodcarving-and-wood-artwork.html
  22. 22. This casket features an silver inlaid design of horsemen (possibly falconers) within roundels. http://art.thewalters.org/detail/35357/casket/ https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/140001736?rpp=20&pg=1&ft=*&when=A.D.+1000- 1400&where=Iran&what=Metal&img=2
  24. 24. Spain- Andalusian DIMENSIONS H 14.77 in. x W 19.3 in. x D 6.89 in. H 37.5 cm x W 49 cm x D 17.5 cm DATE OF MANUFACTURE 1920 https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/storage-case-pieces/cabinets/arab-andalusian-cabinet- spain-circa-1920-1930/id-f_8996731/
  25. 25. Nasrid Revival engraved steel box, Spain, 19th century http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/arts-islamic-world-l14220/lot.192.html Nasrid revival parquetry wood cabinet stand, Spain, 19th century
  26. 26. Syria https://www.akbik.com/syrian-mosaic-and-mother-of-pearl-table https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/seating/settees/19th-c-middle-eastern-moorish-style-walnut-carved-tete- tete/id-f_798335/
  27. 27. Mughal Empire ◦ Their courts had western and Islamic furniture ◦ Decorative repertoire to embellish their products, in the same fashion as did their colleagues working in other artistic industries. ◦ Various styles of thrones and footstools, low tables, and boxes and caskets of several types were employed.
  28. 28. Storage chest, wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl in black lacquer India, Gujarat; beginning of 17th century H: 54.2; W: 109.5; D: 53 cm The lid is decorated with characteristic spiral ornamentation that helps us date it. An identical mother-of-pearl decoration is namely found on a canopy made in 1608-1609 for the grave of the Sufi sheikh Nizam al-Din Awliya, whose monument is in Delhi. Cabinets and storage of wood, ivory, and iron Mughal Empire
  29. 29. ◦ The furniture of Rajasthan is in harmony with its palaces and havelis, displaying similar intricate design and carving.
  30. 30. ◦ The ottoman traces its roots to furnishing practices in the Ottoman Empire, where it was the central piece of residential seating, generally designed as a low wooden platform intended to be piled with cushions. ◦ Known as tuffets, hassocks, or poufs. ◦ Families in Turkey covered them with cushions for group seating like modern sofas without arms and backs. Beyond providing functional seating, they were the central design element within the family common area or living room. ◦ When the idea of ottomans arrived in Europe, artisans created an imitation that wrapped around three walls. Over time, the concept was scaled down to a smaller version that could fit into one corner instead of three. ◦ "Ottoman" may also denote an upholstered seat without a back or arms, but one that usually serves as storage, with the seat hinged to form a lid. Ottoman Empire
  31. 31. MATERIALS
  32. 32. Woodwork, Ivory & Nacre. • The art of woodworking which is observed on furniture such as lecterns, Koran stands, turban stands, trousseau chests and tables, and as accessories. • Many highly sophisticated techniques were developed to create intricate decoration • In the finer examples ebony and other precious woods are used as inlays, together with ivory and mother-of-pearl (Nacre). • The carving in these objects often has a concentrated, almost lapidary detail. • Finest work is generally found on pulpits (minbar).
  34. 34. Kundekari ◦ Woodworking technique. ◦ Pieces of shaped wood are interlocked through rabbeting and mortising, without the use of any nails or glue. ◦ Carefully treated so that it would not dry out and shrink later on. ◦ Kundekari system where pieces of geometric blocks and keel bars are interlocked through tenon-mortising and tongue-groove without the use of any nails or glue, makes the whole structure very durable.
  35. 35. Sunk Relief ◦ Popular in doors, shutters, reading desks and sarcophagi. ◦ The motifs were carved into the plane of the surface. ◦ Example: The three layers of superb carving combining vegetal motifs and calligraphic inscriptions cover the surface of this Qur’an stand. 14th Century Quran Stand. Image Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  36. 36. Lacquering ◦ The technique of lacquering is conspicuous in Ottoman wood workmanship of the 17th and 18th centuries. ◦ The application of this technique, which, besides wood, was also employed on cardboard and leather, is difficult and painstaking work. ◦ When all the irregularities have been smoothed out of the material to be used, a layer of varnish is first applied to prevent the surface from absorbing the paints. ◦ After drying, the decoration is applied in gold leaf or paint of various colors. When the paints have dried, the surface is again varnished; this procedure is repeated several times.
  37. 37. References ◦ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_art#Beginnings ◦ https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/maml/hd_maml.htm ◦ http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;eg;Mus01;2;en ◦ http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/arts-islamic-world-l15220/lot.16.html ◦ http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com ◦ http://islamic-arts.org/2012/the-masterpiece-minbar/ ◦ https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/few-fatimid-luxury-art-items-from-the-north-african-phase-have-survived/ ◦ https://www.akbik.com/walnut-console-table-with-a-mirror-inlaid-with-mother-of-pearl ◦ https://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic/dynasties/late-abbasids ◦ http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/fine-european-furniture-n08879/lot.252.html ◦ http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24197/lot/117/?category=list&length=100&page=2 ◦ http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/arts-of-the-islamic-world/lot.381.html ◦ https://mbwfurniture.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/history-of-furniture-ottomans/ ◦ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_(furniture)