Roundel with Musician

Object Name: 
Roundel with Musician

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Object Name: 
Roundel with Musician
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall Diam (max): 9.1 cm, Th: 0.7 cm
Not on Display
probably 1100-1199
Credit Line: 
Purchased with funds from Polly and John Guth
Web Description: 
The figure at the center of this roundel is a seated musician, with his legs crossed, playing a lute. He wears a long robe that covers his body completely. At the edge of the roundel, between plain borders, is an inscription in Naskh calligraphy. The inscription gives the name and titles of a ruler, who has not yet been identified with a historical person: “Imād al-dawla was al-dīn malik al-umarā’ Jahān Pahlavān ‘Umar ibn al-Husain Nusra.” A very similar roundel, of yellowish green glass, possibly made with the same stamp, is in the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait. The purpose of these objects, which are found in a variety of colors and have a repertoire of ornament that includes birds and animals, falconers, and people riding on elephants, is uncertain. Perhaps the best indication of their function was found during excavations at Old Termez (Tirmidh), Uzbekistan, in 1937–1939. Here, in the ruins of a medieval palace, archaeologists uncovered part of a window grating set with glass roundels. One of the roundels was inscribed with the name and title of one Bahrām Shāh: either the ruler of Ghazni (a city in central Afghanistan) from 1117 to 1157 or the ruler of Termez in 1205. The roundels from Termez, therefore, seem to have adorned a colored glass window. The roundel in the al-Sabah Collection is published in Stefano Carboni, Glass from Islamic Lands, New York: Thames & Hudson, 2001, p. 274, no. 73c.
Sheppard, Christopher (d. 2015), Source
Primary Description: 
Translucent brown glass; stamped. Circular medallion in the decorated with the form of a seated lute player in the center and an inscription around the outer edge.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 9; BIB# AI87745
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2010 (2011) illustrated, p. 5; BIB# AI90243
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 10-11, #3; BIB# AI86878