© The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Crescent-shaped pendant with confronted birds


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira late 4th–5th century / AD 11th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Gold, cloisonné enamel, turquoise; filigree

Period / Dynasty:





Art produced in Cairo during the reign of the Fatimids (969–1171) is characterized by a notable increase in the use of human and animal motifs and by a high level of craftsmanship. This pendant, with its elaborate designs constructed in filigree on a gold grid, is an especially fine example of goldwork. The Fatimids borrowed from Byzantine art the use of crescent-shaped ornaments as well as the technique of cloisonné enamel, which was employed here for the birds in the centre. The goldsmith may have bought the inserts ready-made and then placed them into the gold setting, fixing them with adhesive.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

Citation of this web page:

 "Crescent-shaped pendant with confronted birds" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;15;en&id=jewellery

MWNF Working Number: US3 15

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