Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wood Carving

Picture of Wood Carving from a church in Ranworth, Norfolk, England is courtesy of "LeoL30" who published it on Flickr a. Notice that the hexagram is standing on two points. We are used to see it standing on one point. I don't know (yet) if there's a different meaning to each such position.

Islamic Mosaic Discovered in Ramla, Israel

Ramla Mosaic with Solomon’s Seal
CC picture by Anita363 (c) from Flickr (Mosaic Mosaic)

Myriam Rosen-Ayalon from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem wrote in Israel Exploration Journal, Vo. 26, Jerusalem, Israel; pp. 104-119 about the eighth century mosaic that was found in 1973 in the yard of Mr. Sami Khuri of Tav-Kav-Beth Street in Ramla while he was preparing for canalization. The mosaic has three fragments.
On fragment B which is 3.20 meters wide and 4 meters long there are four hexagrams on a geometric composition complemented by floral motifs and isolated birds. Within each hexagram there is a fruit that looks like a citrus.

I found the references Myriam Rosen-Ayalon made to other Islamic findings very useful for my future research:
The six-pointed star sometimes occurred in pre-Islamic floor mosaics but mainly as an isolated motif. In some mosaics, the star was used as a frame for large compositions, or as a dominant subject, while in others it is just an isolated detail among a great variety of other geometric motifs. Three such examples are found in mosaics uncovered here:
and el-Makr.

Its ornamental use was continued for a long period, and can be seen on some fragments of stone carving in the synagogue o Capernaum, though probably unconnected to the Jewish symbol adopted in recent times…

it appears on funerary slabs from the second century of the Hijra, either completely isolated , or three in a row, or next to a slightly different motif of crossing squares.

A wood carving from Takrit in Iraq, perhaps a sarcophagus, dated to the
Abbasid period 9th century C.E. has a particularly elaborate decoration including six-pointed star is kept at the Metropolitan Museum

 A wood carving from Takrit
From: Maurice Dimard, Ars Islamica, 1937, p. 296 

Another wood carving bearing the star motif is part of the minbar (pulpit) of Kairouan, dated A.D. 786-808 and also said to be from Mesopotemia.

Whithin the Umayyad period this motif is found at Khirbat al-Mafjar.

It exists as an isolated item and also in an overall pattern, as in our mosaic, in a grille decoration of a stucco window…Umayyad carved marble slab from the Grewat Mosque of Damascus.

A wooden panel from the Al Aqsa carvings …(A.D. 780)…


Brewer Hexagram Picture is courtesy of Matthias Trum who wrote for Technical University Munich a thesis titled
Historical depictions, guild signs and symbols of the brewing and malting handcraft
Matthias' caption for this picture is
oldest depiction of a brewer is Pyprew (old german word for brewer) Herttel from 1425. The text on the picture states: "The 46th brother, who died here, was named Herttel Pyrprew" …One can see the brewing kettle with two rings attached to the sides plus two wooden vats. Above the brewer on a stick the hexagram...