This month, a rotation of a few pieces from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art took place in the Spirit and Matter exhibition. Among the new pieces on display is a drinking vessel in the shape of a seated lioness. This is a rare piece that has survived intact from the 12th-13th century. It is decorated with strokes of vivid luster that shimmer like gold against a deep blue glaze. New metalwork pieces show a modernity of form such as a 9th-10th century jug with a feline head protruding from its handle and peeking inside the jug, or a 14th century casket that must have held precious items, itself displaying a richness of silver inlaid decoration. The choice of the new objects retains the musicality and harmony that was originally sought in Spirit and Matter, while at the same time augmenting its informative and educational texture.
The objects that have been replaced are among the loan that was granted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for their upcoming exhibition, Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs, opening end of April 2016.
Sabiha Al Khemir is the Senior Advisor for Islamic Art at the DMA