Comparative Study of leaf, arabesque and Ivy motifs in Egyptian Fatimids glass and Seljuks of Iran

Seyed Reza Hoseini, Parisa Mohammadi


During the Islamic period, the art of glassware grew considerably in the era of the Fatimids of Egypt and at the same time during the Seljuqs dynasty of Iran. The coexistence of these two dynasties and the relationships between them can provide the basis for following the characteristics of each works. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of the form and also to identify the similarities and differences in plant motifs of leaves, arabesque and ivy motifs in glassware of these two dynasties. Accordingly, the following question arises: What are the similarities and differences in the plant motifs of leaves, arabesque and ivy motifs in the Fatimids and Seljuks glassware? In order to answer this question, 55 works were employed; among them,19 items of the Fatimids dynasty glassware and 17 items of the Seljuqs dynasty glassware with mentioned motifs have been compared. Using a descriptive analytical approach, this comparative-historical research has been conducted based on the library resources. The results show that in Fatimids works, palm leaves are often similar to the original form of the leaf, in the form of a triangle and decorated with golden colour, which can indicate the importance of the motif, but in the Seljuqs works, the leaves have different forms and often an abstract form. Two dynasties' motifs were common in the use of empty space and curved forms.

Also, in the Seljuqs works, the leaves motif similar to the numbers 7 and 8 in Persian language (۷&۸)   have a straight central line, multi-rows and connected to another which created a zigzag form. But the Fatimids motifs, they are in a single row; and in addition to the straight central line, lines are often curved. In addition, in arabesque and Ivy forms, there are differences that are derived from the native and cultural characteristics of each territory.


Egypt, Iran, Fatimids, Seljuks, Glassware, Plant Motifs

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