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Balkh  

City in northern Afghanistan, believed to be the site of Bactra, capital of ancient Bactria, and a major city in the province of Khurasan during the Islamic period. Located on a fertile plain, Balkh commanded trade routes between India, China, Turkestan and Iran. It was already a wealthy city under the Achaemenid dynasty (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

English civil servant and collector of Islamic and Chinese art. The eldest son of Sir Thomas Barlow, royal physician and president of the Royal College of Physicians, he was educated at Marlborough and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1906 he was appointed to a clerkship in the House of Commons, by ...

Article

Stephen Hill

English archaeologist and architectural historian. The first woman to achieve a first-class honours in modern history at Oxford University, she travelled widely in Europe, Japan and especially the Middle East in the 1890s, achieving fluency in a number of European languages as well as in Persian, Turkish and Arabic. She developed an interest in archaeology and architecture that was reflected in an authoritative set of articles on the Early Byzantine churches of Syria and southern Turkey, based on her travels in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

English collector. The eldest son of a Greek merchant, Eumorfopoulos worked for the merchant firm of Ralli Brothers. He initially collected European porcelains and Japanese tea bowls but then turned to Chinese objects, which became his largest collection, emphasizing pottery and porcelains. His second interest was metalwork, and he formed a fine collection of Chinese bronzes; he was also interested in other media, such as jade. He chose items based on his aesthetic response rather than archaeological or rarity value, and he thus placed himself at the forefront of Western taste for Chinese art. From ...

Article

Chinese, 13th – 14th century, male.

Born 1248, in Datong (Shanxi); died probably after 1310.

Painter.

Gao Kekong’s family were Muslim Uighurs from eastern Turkestan who had assimilated to Han culture. His father was a scholar from Datong, but he himself went to live in Wulin. Gao Kekong began his official career in ...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

American dealer of Indian birth. Following the decline of the family textile business, his father, Munchersa Heeramaneck, became an antiquities dealer and shrewdly developed a speciality in Chinese ceramics. As a youth, Nasli was assigned to the New Delhi office, but in 1922 he was sent to Paris to study and open a branch. He soon moved to New York, which became the final location for ...

Article

Yuka Kadoi

Apart from a short-lived introduction of paper currency in Ilkhanid Iran under the inspiration of Chinese models, paper money was virtually unknown in the Islamic world until the mid-19th century, as the right to strike Coins was one of the most traditional and important symbols of sovereignty. The Ottoman Empire was one of the first Islamic states to issue machine-made banknotes during the 1850s, as part of its modernization policy. As Western standards of administration, including the modern banking system, were put in force, paper money began to be circulated in Iran in ...

Article

Kashgar  

Henrik H. Sørensen, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Important trading town in the western part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Kashgar is located where the northern and southern branches of the Silk Route met before the crossing of the Pamirs into Afghanistan and India. Buddhism is likely to have been introduced here as early as the 1st century ...

Article

T. Kh. Starodub, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Central Asian republic bounded by Russia to the west and north, China to the east and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the south (see fig.). The Caspian Sea forms much of the south-west frontier, and the Aral Sea constitutes part of the border with Uzbekistan. Apart from the Ural Mountains in the north and the Tian shan Range and Altai Mountains in the south-east it is essentially steppe. The population is estimated at 15.3 million (...

Article

T. Kh. Starodub

Republic in Central Asia bounded by Uzbekistan to the west, Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east and Tajikistan to the south (see fig.). Much of the country is taken up by the Tianshan Mountains, while Lake Issyk-Kul occupies a large area in the north-east. The capital, ...