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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Large Seljuk or Danishmandid Warrior on Caparisoned Horse

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LOT 0403

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,300 - 4,410
USD ($) 3,890 - 5,190

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£2,700 (EUR 2,974; USD 3,502) (+bp*)

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Large Seljuk or Danishmandid Warrior on Caparisoned Horse

12th century AD

A substantial decorated limestone panel divided in two parts, to the right an armoured cavalryman on a caparisoned horse, armed with a winged spear, a curved sabre in a scabbard, a small shield and a large dagger with single quillon, wearing high boots and a long armour covering garment, the horse protected by ornamented armour; the left side with a geometric decoration composed of cross and line motifs with an intersecting flower motif. 86.3 kg, 86cm (34"). Fine condition.

Property of a West London businessman, his collection having been formed in the late 1980s-early 1990s; accompanied by an archaeological report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10191-166367.
See Nicolle, D., Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, vol. II, London, 1999; ‘The Iconography of a Military Elite: Military Figures on an Early Thirteenth-Century Candlestick (Part II)’ in MSR XIX, 2016, pp.193-299; ‘Horse Armour in the Medieval Islamic Middle East’, in Arabian Humanities, Le cheval dans la péninsule Arabique, 2017, pp.1-60; similar representation of early Turkish Anatolian warriors in an unpublished sarcophagus kept in the Afyon-Karashar Archaeological Museum, and in the Kars Archaeological Museum; see also a relief carving of a huntsman in Konya Museum (Nicolle, 1999, fig.527).
The Seljuks who invaded Anatolia during the last half of the 11th century created, in the former territories of the Roman Empire, a Sultanate (called of Rūm, ‘land of the Romans’), of which they lost control during the 12th and 13th century allowing the division of the Sultanate in numerous petty Islamic kingdoms, known as amīrates or beyliks. From them emerged the nucleus of the future Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century. The Dānishmandids ruled much of central Anatolia following the defeat of Byzantium, until they were themselves conquered by the Seljuks of Rūm. Much of their iconography was borrowed from Eastern Roman or Armenian art. The rarity of military iconography of the Seljuk Empire makes this panel particularly relevant, especially in the detailed representation of the horse armour. This follows the depiction of the two variants of the horse armour represented in the 12th century Ādharbāyjan Warka wa Gulshah manuscript, with horses armour not including anything for the animal’s neck or head (Nicolle,1999, pp.226-227, fig.558p). The shape of the horse armour suggests a fabric protection of linen or leather, mixed with scales, corresponding to several fragments from Near East and Levant recently published by Nicolle (2016, figs.35, 52-53).