Unknown11th-12th century

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Islamic gold objects are exceptionally scarce. This charming gold statuette of a lion is elaborately decorated with ornate filigree and fine granulation. After the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in the eleventh century, the creation of luxury gold and silver objects took place primarily in the homes of the taifa aristocrats. The work closest in size, style, and workmanship to this lion is a winged ram found in northwestern Spain now in the Lugo (Orense) Museum. The Lugo ram is dateable to the eleventh century and it is most likely that the Minneapolis lion also dates to the eleventh or early twelfth century. Both objects are testament to the sophisticated taste and refined techniques of Islamic goldwork in Spain.

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  • Title: Statuette
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 11th-12th century
  • origin: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w4 x h4.75 x d2 in
  • Measurements: 4 3/4 x 4 x 2in. (12.1 x 10.2 x 5.1cm)
  • Type: Metalwork
  • Rights: The Katherine Kettridge McMillan Memorial Fund, http://www.artsmia.org/index.php?section_id=7
  • External Link: Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
  • Medium: Gold


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