Name of Object:

Capital

Location:

Santarém, Portugal

Holding Museum:

Santarém Municipal Museum

Date:

From the final years of Arab domination, or very probably after the Christian conquest in Hegira 541 / AD 1147

Museum Inventory Number:

MMS 000219/EA

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Sculpted marble.

Dimensions:

Height 34 cm, width 28 cm, depth 28 cm

Provenance:

Santarém, Portugal.

Description:

Composite capital, with the basket occupied by two asymmetrical rows of single smooth acanthus leaves with curved tips, with a plant and lace decoration running around them. Interlaced decorations are prominent on the abacus, and around the echinus on the four faces between the volutes runs a votive inscription in cursive script in relief, which reads: 'In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate! God bless our lord Muhammad / and his family and grant (them) perfect peace / God deliver me from Satan the damned'.

View Short Description

How date and origin were established:

Although dated to the caliphal period for many years, a more recent analysis, in particular of the lettering in Nasrid cursive script, requires its date to be corrected to AH 6th century / AD 12th century.

How Object was obtained:

A gift to the Museum in 1882 from António Fernandes Melício, then owner of the former Palace of the Counts of óbidos, a 16th-century building, where it was found in a barn.

How provenance was established:

Documented in 1882 by the former curators of the District Museum of Santarém de S. João de Alporão (today the Santarém Municipal Museum) and Zeferino Brandão, as having been found in 1880 in the district of Alporão.

Selected bibliography:

Brandão, Z., “Vestígios Árabes em Santarém”, O Occidente, no. 5, Lisbon, 1882, pp.190–2.
Custódio, J. S., “Capitel”, Portugal Islâmico, Lisbon, 1999, pp.76–7.
Labarta, A. and Barceló, C., “Inscripciones Árabes Portuguesas: Situación Actual”, Al-Qantara, vol. 8, 1987, pp.395–420.
Nykl, A. R., “Arabic Inscriptions in Portugal”, Ars Islamica, 11–12, 1946, pp.167–83.
Nykl, A. R., “Inscrições Árabes Existentes no Museo Arqueológico do Carmo”, Trabalhos da Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses, 5, 1941, pp.11–12.

Citation of this web page:

Artur Goulart de Melo Borges "Capital" in Discover Islamic Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;ISL;pt;Mus01_C;23;en&id=architectural_elements

Prepared by: Artur Goulart de Melo BorgesArtur Goulart de Melo Borges

Artur Goulart de Melo Borges é licenciado em Arqueologia, fez estudos de pós-graduação em Museologia e História da Arte e frequentou o Curso Superior Livre de Estudos Árabes, da Universidade de Évora, tendo-se dedicado ao estudo da epigrafia árabe em Portugal. Nesse âmbito, colaborou no Catálogo da exposição “Portugal Islâmico”, 1998-1999, do Museu Nacional de Arqueologia. Publicou as inscrições de Évora, Beja e Moura e participou no projecto “Bibliografia crítica luso-árabe”, da Universidade de Évora. Técnico do Museu de Évora de 1979 a 1999, exerceu o cargo de director durante sete anos. Participou em congressos, seminários e publicações sobre estudos árabes, património artístico e cultural. Desde Março de 2002, é coordenador científico do Inventário do Património Artístico Móvel da Arquidiocese de Évora.

Translation by: Gilla Evans
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: PT 32