- 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
Level 2, Room 2550, Art from Islamic Lands, The Middle East and North Africa
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- Physical Descriptions
- 4.25 g
- Die Axis
- 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
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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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 email@example.com