Islamic seals event


Seal engraver

A seal engraver, drawn in the Kashmiri style, ca 1850. Add.Or.1692. © The British Library

On Thursday 19 May, Venetia Porter and Annabel Gallop will give a talk in the Library on ‘Islamic Seals: Treasures from the British Library and the British Museum’.

Venetia, from the British Museum, will introduce a millennium of Islamic seals, from the earliest lead and clay seals stamped on papyrus documents in Arabic, through early seals carved in carnelian, quartz, garnets and other semi-precious stones, to more recent seal matrices of silver and brass. Annabel, from the British Library, will pick up the story from the time that paper replaced papyrus and parchment as the main writing medium in the Islamic world, and will talk about Islamic seal impressions stamped on manuscript books and documents, treaties and royal letters.

This illustrated talk will be accompanied by a display of the travelling photographic exhibition ‘Lasting Impressions: Seals from the Islamic World’. It starts in the Library’s Morison Room at 5.30 p.m., and forms part of the programme of the Friends of the Library (see Friends of the Library: £2.50. Others: £3.50. (Junior members of the University of Cambridge: free.)

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