Ornaments from the East.
From Patti Birch's collection
25 January 2000 - 19 March 2000
The collection of the Eastern ornaments belonging to Ms Patti Cadby Birch,
brought to St.Petersburg, covers a great historic period from the early
X century B.C. to the XVI century, the Islamic Middle Ages. Most
of the pieces represented at the exhibition come from Northern Iran. The
oldest of the them date back to the Å century B.C. The so-called "Amlash"
culture is represented by golden pendant disks which were probably of
religious character, and also silver and golden coins dating back to the
I millenium B.C. which were discovered in Marlic mound.
The visitors can see rare pieces of jewelry dating back to the culture
of Midians in Northern Iran and the adjacent territories (VII - VI centuries
B.C.). Splendid golden necklaces and bracelets crowned with lion figures
are samples of the jewelry art of the Akhemenids dynasty period (VI -
IV cent B.C.). The dynasty established a huge empire. In the art of Parthia,
a state in Iran which arose after the fall of Alexander Macedonian's empire
and existed since 250 B.C. until 224 , the influence of Hellenistic culture
is vividly felt. The evidence of this are the luxurious ornaments of Parthian
nobility The largest group of ornaments presented at the exhibition relates
to the reign of the Sassanian dynasty who managed to unite Iran for more
than 4 centuries (227 - 651 ). It was the time of the last great flourishing
of Iran culture before the Arabic Conquest. The Sassanian jewelry art
is represented both by the refined golden necklaces and sophisticated
ornaments made of semi-precious stones, ceramics and glass paste.
Most of the Middle Ages ornaments shown at the exhibition date back to
the period of classical Islam (600 - 1258). The early samples of Islam
jewelry pieces are made in the traditions of the Ancient Iran. During
the flourishing period of Islam jewelry art (X - XI centuries) they produced
magnificent golden pieces in the technique of tracery filigree with big
amounts of garnets and turquoise. New artistic traditions were introduced
into Iran jewelry art by the masters of the Turkic Seljuk dynasty (XI
century- early XIV century).
In the works of the time of the Moslem Sephevid dynasty (1501 - 1736
) the masters were using a lot of precious stones and color enamels.
The collection of Ms Patti Cadby Birch, an acknowledged connoisseur of
the art of the East, gives the viewer a chance to get to know the most
interesting trends in the culture of the East.
X – IX cent. B.C.
VI – IV cent. B.C.
II cent. A.D.
V – VI cent.