Art, Trade and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond

Art, Trade and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond



‘[A] magnificent tribute to Doris Behrens-Abouseif, to whom the publication is dedicated.
A notable strength of the volume is the authors’ close attention to the visual and material qualities of objects […] and the built environment.
Without a doubt, Art, Trade, and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond will prove a major resource for scholars and students of Islamic art for years to come. Besides the vast range of topics covered, the volume’s large format, crisp layout, and lavish color illustrations make for a truly stunning product.’

Dr Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History, University of Michigan


The essays in this volume bring to light artistic exchanges that occurred between successive Islamic dynasties in the central regions of the Middle East and further afield in China, India and Europe from the twelfth to the nineteenth century. All the articles present original research, many of them taking advantage of innovative scientific means to show familiar objects in a new light.

Subjects from the Mamluk period include tile production during the reign of Qaytbay, book bindings associated with Qansuh al-Ghawri, depictions of fish on Mamluk textiles, the relationship between Mamluk metalwork and Rasulid Yemen. A number of the articles are concerned with epigraphic inscriptions found on the buildings of the Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman periods, examining the inscriptions on the Mausoleum of Yahya al-Shabih in Cairo, and how a Mamluk inscription from the Madrasa Qartawiya in Tripoli is replicated in Istanbul during the Ottoman period. The relationship between ceilings of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo and the Mouchroutas Palace in Constantinople is also explored, as is the unacknowledged debt that European lacquer work owes to Persian craftsmen. Ottoman topics include the architecture of the Nusretiye Mosque in Istanbul, the role played by Armenian architects in the reshaping of Ottoman cities in the nineteenth century, the role of the hammam in Ottoman culture and representations of beauty on Iznik pottery. Articles on material culture include Port St. Symeon ceramics, West Asian copies of Chinese celadons, the eighteenth century Armenian patrons of Chinese export wares, the use of Islamic design in nineteenth century British tile manufacture the art of khatam khari in Iran. The arts of India are represented by essays on the use of the technique of paper collage in the Deccani Sultanate, the impact of Timurid architecture in fifteenth-century Bidar as well as studies on aspects of the representations of the Mughal emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Nasser David Khalili

Foreword by the Editors

Publications by Doris Behrens-Abouseif

Part 1 Metalwork

Moya Carey – Traces of Mosul: An Inlaid Brass Pen Box in the V&A

Nikolaos Vryzidis – The Second Life of a Mamluk Lamp from Saint John the Theologian Monastery, Patmos and the Oral Tradition Attached to It

Rachel Ward – Mean or Green? Mamluk Vessels Recycled for the Rasulid Sultans

Part 2 Architecture

Bernard O’kane and Bahia Shehab – The Mausoleum of Yahya al-Shabih Revisited

Jeremy Johns – A Tale of Two Ceilings: The Cappella Palatina in Palermo and the Mouchroutas in Constantinople

Helen Philon – Mahmud Gawan’s Madrasa in Bidar: A Unique Architectural Transplant from the Timurid World to the Deccan

Bora Keskiner – The Octagonal Kufic Inscription in the Qartawiyya Madrasa and Its Counterpart in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Ünver Rüstem – Victory in the Making: The Symbolism of Istanbul’s Nusretiye Mosque

Mehmet Baha Tanman – The Spiritual and Mystical Dimensions of the Hamam in Turkish Bathing Culture

Alyson Wharton-Durgaryan – ‘I Understood that He Is Entrusted to Serve Some Great Business Undertaking’: Armenian Architects Reshaping the Ottoman East in the Hamidian Era (1876–1909)

Part 3 Ceramics

Scott Redford – The Shelf Life of Port Saint Symeon Ceramics: Evidence from Kinet Höyük

Rosalind Wade Haddon – Trade and Innovation Seen through Mamluk, Ilkhanid, and Golden Horde Imitation Celadon Wares

Sami de Giosa – Decorative Tiles in Egypt and Greater Syria during the Reign of Sultan Qaytbay (r.1468–1496)

Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu – Representation of Lyrical Beauty: The Image of a Courtesan at the Topkapı Palace in the Seventeenth Century

George Manginis – Armenian Patrons for Chinese Commodities: Trade Networks and Cultural Exchange across Asia

Melanie Gibson – Colouring the Surface: A Taste for ‘Persian’ Tiles in English Domestic Architecture, 1870–1914

Part 4 Book Arts and Painting

Mehreen Chida-Razvi – A Sultan Before the Padshah? Questioning the Identification of th Turbaned Figure in Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaykh to Kings

Alison Ohta – The Bindings of Qansuh al-Ghawri

J.M. Rogers – ‘A Sacred Tree’: A Paper Collage in the Khalili Collection

Malini Roy – Historical Portraits of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir I (r. 1658–1707)

Part 5 Material Culture

Javad Golmohammadi – The Art of Iranian Decorative Veneer, Khātam-kāri

Maria Sardi – Swimming across the Weft: Fish Motifs on Mamluk Textiles

Tim Stanley – Double Orientalism: European Lacquer and its Unacknowledged Debt to Iran


Additional information


Art, History, Politics, Religion & Philosophy


Edited by Alison Ohta, Michael Rogers, and Rosalind Wade Haddon