Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Oval bezel seal with kufic inscription

  • loan



  • kufic

    A term denoting various styles of angular Arabic script. Emerged in the early centuries of Islam, kufic soon became the preferred hand to copy holy texts.


    • currently in research collection

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Publications online

  • Islamic Seals and Talismans by Ludvik Kalus

    Catalogue of Islamic Seals and Talismans

    Onyx in alternating chesnut and white; bezel, bevelled towards the front; oval; back angle slightly cut. One line of kufic script, without dots. A lām-alif beneath.

    Ja'far b. Ahmad جعفر بن احمد

    Lām-alif لا

    The person whose name is inscribed on the seal could be Ja'far b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad (310-337/922-949) from the dynasty of Banijurids.

    The lām-alif has perhaps an esoteric meaning, cf. Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani, 'M.C.A.B.I. XIV. - Les thèmes ésotériques et les thèmes mystiques dan l'art du bronze iranien', in Mélanges H. Corbin, Teheran, 1977, p. 373-5, where the problem of lām-alif on metal objects is discussed. If this hypothesis is right, it would be more correct to include this seal in group I.1.2

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