More boats and ivory caskets Medina Azahara workshop

Of the artistic and archaeological Cordoba bill scattered in museums and private collections the world's most striking and original pieces are definitely the boxes, pots and plates made of ivory to the X century long workshops in Medina Azahara.

So, as in other parts Cordobian secondment of your bill presents more problems in the case of boats and chests Caliphate seems (or at least I have not found data) that the workshops were located in the Madina Azahara palace itself and its use was restricted to the royal.

Of the contributed Tabernero Metropolitan Museum of New York the famous pyxis and plate carved. Jerome's Victory & Albert Museum London two manholes, one with hardware of the modern age but in very good condition and Mabuse interests boat Braga Cathedral.

cofre of museum

Chest Caliphate exhibited in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

But as you all know or can assume there are many more. The researcher Noelia Silva Santa-Cruz the total estimated twenty. In the country I own I have located several.

On National Archaeological Museum find one of the most beautiful, the Boat Zamora Cathedral, round, with lid and snap dated 960, so called because there was found in the early twentieth century.


On the left the boat Zamora Cathedral on display at the National Archaeological Museum. To the right the boat Mughira on display in the Louvre

In a private collection in Madrid is also a chest from which I have not too much data.


Ivory casket belonging to a private collection in Madrid. This photo is copyright belongs to the page

On Instituto Valencia de Don Juan de Madrid There is a chest known as casket Argaiz for having belonged to that collection for a long time. The lid is flat and is extremely similar to another preserved in the church of Santa Maria de Fitero (Navarre) and although in the Argaiz not see the name of the author himself as it does in the Fitero, therefore can be attributed to both at the same artist, el maestro Halaf. The professor's Silva Santa-Cruz in a small communication and connects them both to the game box Ivory also the same time that is saved in the Burgos Provincial Museum. It also elaborates on the possibility that the princess was destined Wallada a daughter of Abderrahman III.

Another famous piece is sublime Leire Casket which is stored in the Museo de Navarra in Pamplona, definitely the most beautiful part of the Cordoba Caliphate eboraria.

In New York, in funds Hispanic Society exibe also another chest with the signature of maestro Halaf, sister because of Fitero.


A boat left Caliphate exhibited in the New York Hispanic Spciety. Right ivory game box that is exhibited at the Provincial Museum of Burgos

In the actual Victory & Albert Museum in London there is another jackpot, This rather run, and responds to the same standards as other. HERE you can see a picture of it.

As to Paris, on Louvre two pieces are exhibited ivory Cordoba, the bottle Almughira and a chest carved with floral exclusively.

coffer louvre

And even if it is built in ivory, the wood and silver casket dated 976, call Hisham II that is conserved in the Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral of Gerona is another wonder.


Wood and silver casket preserved in the Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral of Gerona

Complementing recommend reading THIS SMALL STUDY the figure of the musicians at the time of the caliphate through the reliefs, mainly of carved ivory pieces from the workshops courtiers Cordoba.

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  1. Mare mía Harazem! perdío throughout the weekend bartender-cultural but true good hint.

    Q I missed nothing and hoped not, you will provide something imminently. Me dije: again as the excursion of the weekend will see.

    I'm glad I was not wrong.

    cultural greetings to everyone s

  2. Yes, dear Lysis, too lost, in the physical sense and the moral. Party in the country field, a medium that I'm too used. And on Sunday I paid the consequences. I did not know that daisies, Poppies, the jaramaguillos and other flowering herbs or so I had to step on that terrible hangover occur under whose effects I dared to mention ivory boxes. Anyway just a note, as formalize the museum, I agree to Curran a token piece by piece, possibly with translation of texts written in some.

  3. On 2005 I was in the Louvre and saw several pieces whose origin was Medina Azahara, I looked on the museum website and have found almost nothing, surely have on deposit and not show all, but I saw them, I was surprised that the best parts of our past were there and here, in our museum “arqueoilogico”, only have a few capitals and collections of coins…

    • Collections of coins? Exposed? Is that what you've seen? But you've ever been to Archaeological?

  4. Perhaps some data should be included when discussing the “Lost heritage” cordovan. I refliero when they left the city and, especially, whether this output is “historical” or recent. In the case of ivory, the scattering theory of this set appears today clearly. We have a number of original parts Cordoba, quite possibly from the workshops of Medina Azahara, that after “fitna” and disintegration of the caliphate ended as reliquaries in the cathedrals of the northern half of the peninsula. Hence the origin “cathedral” Most of the known parts. On the other hand, along the XI century also created roughly workshops “Taifa” at different locations, giving rise to pieces, despite a very clear relationship with parts califales, are no longer. Overall, these parts came from Cordoba in the eleventh century. Not so with other elements (Fawn National Archaeological Museum, for example), whose departure from the city itself is recent.

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