Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg



Sie sind hier: Startseite Fellows Alumni Carine Juvin (October - December 2016) Project


Inscribed Objects in the Late Mamluk period: materializing the message, emphasizing the status


Wishing to explore the connections between calligraphy, monumental epigraphy and portable objects, I started in 2009 a Ph D. research untitled: “Study on Calligraphy under the Late Mamluks: Inscriptions on Monuments and Objects (1468-1517)”. I intend to bring out a clearer picture of calligraphic production on different materials, addressing the issues of calligraphers’ and lapicids’ milieu, theoretical views on scripts and practical observation, distribution of styles, connections with space ad society, external influences.

During my research, I was able to gather hundreds of inscriptions on monuments, furniture and portable objects. Inscribed objects in the late Mamluk period consist almost exclusively of objects in metalwork, including basins, trays, ewers, lamps, candlesticks, boxes and military equipment ; around securely datable 250 pieces were included in my corpus. Their inscriptions allow to link them to official patronage of the sultans, amirs but also civilian elite. They include their names and titles, official positions. In so doing, they are reflecting, materializing the status and social organization of the military and civilian elite, not only through their inscriptions but also their materiality, shape and ornaments. Some other undated objects, attributed to the 15th century on a stylistic ground, bear another type of inscriptions: poetic verses. Through the study of three almost unpublished metalworks in the Louvre Museum, I would like to reexamine these questions of provenance and patronage and how these objects are connected to some particular segments of society and express the relationships between these segments.