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Silver facing of a mirror

Unknown1000/1199

Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

The silver facing of this mirror is a rare instant of precious metalwork to survive from the Fatimid era. It is decorated with typically Fatimid scrolls, heart-shaped motifs and benedictory Kufic inscriptions. The mirror’s circular shape with a pierced central boss allowing a string to pass through and be used as a handle has its origins in China. The Chinese models may have reached Egypt either via Iran or by the Indian ocean and Red sea trade route. From Egypt, 11th-12th c. 18 cm (ΓΕ 13770)

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