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Gallery Text

Following the Prophet Muhammad’s example, the Islamic polity, or caliphate, was ruled by a political and religious leader titled the caliph, or “successor” to the Prophet. Muslims eventually developed a monarchic system for controlling the succession of caliphs. The four centuries of the early Islamic era witnessed the establishment—and unraveling—of the universal caliphates of the Umayyad (661–750) and Abbasid (750–1258) dynasties.

The range of the objects in this case illustrates the Islamic empire’s rapid expansion and the assimilation of peoples and artistic practices. A hot-worked glass vessel and a green-glazed pottery cup demonstrate continuity with late Roman traditions, while the figural imagery and inscriptions on tenth-century polychrome pottery vessels from eastern Iran underscore the continued vitality of pre-Islamic cultural traditions there. The creation of coinage bearing only inscriptions at the turn of the seventh century signals the unprecedented stature that Arabic

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1951.31.4.2301
People
Al-Walid I, Arab (r. 705 - 715)
Title
Dinar of Al-Walid
Classification
Coins
Work Type
coin
Date
708 (90 H.)
Places
Creation Place: Middle East
Period
Umayyad period
Culture
Arab
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/182593
Location
Level 2, Room 2550, Art from Islamic Lands, The Middle East and North Africa
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Gold
Metal
AV
Dimensions
4.25 g
Die Axis
6
Denomination
dinar
Provenance
Thomas Whittemore, Cambridge, MA, (by 1951), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Thomas Whittemore
Accession Year
1951
Object Number
1951.31.4.2301
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Exhibition History

The Continuous Stroke of a Breath: Calligraphy from the Islamic World, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 12/20/2003 - 07/18/2004

32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu