Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Islamic Dragons

Document delivery via Monash University is a wonderful thing. You simply click on the book you want and they eventually deliver it to a library near you. Unfortunately it isn't always as quick as one would like. Take for example, todays book: The Dragon in Medieval East Christian and Islamic Art by Sara Kuehn (ISBN: 0929-2403 / 9789004186637). It arrived recently and I can't for the life of me remember why I had it. I suspect I ordered it because I was planning on entering an A&S competition that featured images of Wyvyrns and I wanted to find one that suited my persona.

Anyway, I've flipped through the collection of articles in this book and here are some of the best images for your consumption:

A winged dragon with forelegs. Buckle of a belt, Mongl Empire, Astrakhan region. Probably 13th century, Silver, gilding, inlay in a black substance (niello?) Length 6.3 cmm width 3.1 cm. St Petersburg Hermatiage, inv. no. SO-762 . (I really really like this one!)

Confronted pairs of winged dragon tailed dragons with forelegs. Detail from a candlestick base, the Jazira. Thirteenth century. Copper alloy, silver inlay. Metropolitian Museum of Art. Inv. no. 91.1.561.

 A musician with a dragon-headed stringed instrument. Wall painting. Panjikent (Tajikistan). 8th century. Dushanbe National Museum.

Confronted dragon-headed birds with interlaced necks. Missal, Armenia. 9th or 10th century. Ejmiatsin, State Library. MS 958 fol 10.

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