Lasting Impressions

Seals from the Islamic World

Author : Dr Annabelle Teh Gallop & Dr Venetia Porter
Price : RM 120.00
Size : 240 mm x 290 mm
Year : 2012
ISBN No : 978-983-44696-9-6
Illustration :
Pages : 199

Islamic seals were the namecards of their day. In early Islamic societies a seal presented the image a person wished to project to the world, yet often conveyed much more than was written or perhaps intended. A seal inscribed simply with the name of the owner and a pious phrase might also reveal when and where that person lived, their social status and aspirations, and their religious beliefs. While the calligraphy and design of a seal reflected the artistic spirit of its time and place, it could also be shaped by personal taste, whether cutting-edge or conservative.

Presented in this book are over 300 Islamic seals, dating from the earliest days of Islam through to the modern era. They include both matrices made of precious stone and metal, and impressions stamped on manuscript documents and books, mainly from the collections of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, the British Library and the British Museum. Unlike European seals which are primarily pictorial, in Islamic seals the inscription takes centre stage. It is this focus on writing, in the sacred Arabic script, which links seals from all parts of the Muslim world, from Morocco to Malaysia, and from Iran to India and Indonesia.

Masterworks in miniature, each of these seals leaves lasting impressions of the people who commissioned and used them, and the Islamic worlds in which they were created.

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