Lot n° 1
4000 - 6000
Result with fees
: 5 850EUR
RARE STÈLE FUNÉRAIRE ABBASSIDE
MIDDLE EAST OR EGYPT, IN THE NAME OF IBRAHIM YAHIYA, DATED: JUMÂDA AL-AKHIR 237 H./NOVEMBER 851
In marble, quadrangular in shape, with engraved decoration of 11 ll. calligraphied in kufic script and framed by a ribbon of S-shaped motifs, date and name of the deceased at the bottom of the Qur'anic text.
Height 42.5 cm; Width: 40 cm; Depth: 5 cm.
From the former estate of Elie France Touchaleaume (1914-2010): Compagnon de la Libération by decree of November 17, 1945, on assignment with the Suez Canal Company in Egypt from 1948 to 1956.
The eleven lines of writing - engraved in intaglio (a technique that probably predates relief engraving) - adopt a fine, regular kufic style. Letter endings end in triangular shapes, sometimes half-palmettes as in the case of alif and lam in the first line. Sublinear letters, such as wāw or râ', have undulating endings. Palmettes are added between the letters of the term "al-ḥakîm" (l. 4). The epitaph is bordered by an S-shaped braid, with two half-palmettes facing each other at the top, evoking the tabula ansata of Coptic art, found in several funerary stelae in Egypt from the 9th century onwards. This style of writing, with its decorative frame, the choice of formulas and the Koranic verses used in this epitaph (Q. 3:18 and Q. 9:33), fully reflect the typical production of 9th-century funerary stelae of Egyptian provenance. This stela can be compared with several known examples, such as stelae 1506/655 or 8137 from the Islamic Museum in Cairo, dated respectively to the years of the Hegira 241 and 242 (Wiet, Catalogue général du Musée Arabe du Caire. Stèles funéraires, vol. 2, Cairo, 1936, p. 26). Other comparable steles are in the Louvre Museum, notably MAO 913 and MAO 1264 (Thérèse Bittar, Pierres et stucs épigraphiés, Paris, 2003, p. 66-67 and p. 79). Another from the same group was sold at Christie's, Arts of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, London, October 7, 2008, lot no. 110.
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