Islamic seals were the namecards of their day. Often, these seals conveyed much more than was written or perhaps intended: a seal inscribed with the owner’s name and a pious phrase might reveal when and where that person lived, their social status, and their religious beliefs. Presented in this book are over 300 Islamic seals, dating from the earliest days of Islam through the modern era. Masterworks in miniature, each of these seals leaves lasting impressions of the people who commissioned and used them.
About the Authors
Annabel Teh Gallop is curator for Maritime Southeast Asia at the British Library. Her Ph.D. was on Malay seal inscriptions: a study in Islamic epigraphy from Southeast Asia (2002), and she has written widely on Malay seals, letters and documents, and on the art of the Qur’an in Southeast Asia.
Venetia Porter is curator of Islamic and Modern Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum. Her publications include Arabic and Persian Seals and Amulets in the British Museum (2011) and Word into Art (2006).
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements
Map of the Islamic World
Map of Southeast Asia
1: Seals from the Islamic World
2: Seal Matrices
3: Seal Impressions
4: Calligraphy and Inscriptions
5: Design and Decoration
Index of Illustrations and Photograph Credits