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Metalwork

Like the other arts of the Sassanid Era, the traditional styles of the metalwork of this period found their way to the ensuing periods without any change. The metal handicrafts belonging to the early Islamic centuries are so similar to those of the Sassanid Era that they have raised doubts among the renowned experts on Iranian art about the date of their production. There are a number of handicrafts which demonstrate a connection between the products of this period and those belonging to the previous periods, both, in terms of their shapes as well as their designs and motifs. One of these artifacts is a round bronze tray that is housed in the Berlin Museum. There is an image of a palace or a fire-temple in the middle of the tray, which is surrounded by 22 semi-arches decorated with arabesque designs.

A number of such metal vessels are housed in various museums of the world, and particularly in the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg.

Another group of metal handicrafts belonging to the early Islamic centuries that clearly demonstrate the continuation of the Sassanid school of metalwork are those Iranian handicrafts that, while having all the features of the Sassanid school, have some inscriptions on them written in Arabic. Unlike other artifacts, to which reference was made earlier, the date of production of these handicrafts can easily be determined and, thus, there is no doubt about them having belonged to the Islamic Era, and the fact that they were made in Iran prior to the 11th and 12th Centuries AH.

The only obvious difference between the metalwork handicrafts belonging to the post-Sassanid Era and those of the Sassanid Era is the use of bronze instead of silver.

* source: Semsar , Mohammad Hasan " Iran Entry " The Great Islamic Encyclopedia . Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 , pp.649- 650

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