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Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

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London

A Fatimid carved glass or obsidian chess piece, Egypt, 10th/11th century
carved with stylised foliate designs and incised dash details
3.8cm. height
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Provenance

Purchased from Michel Albert Manoukian, Paris, 7 April 1969 (receipt on file).

Catalogue Note

The conchoidal fractures on the underside of this piece, combined with its very dark black colour, suggest that it is obsidian, an igneous rock that occurs as a natural glass which was formed by the rapid cooling of viscous lava from volcanoes. It has been used by ancient civilisations throughout the world in the fashioning of various objects, notably tools.  

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

|
London