A Curious Thirteenth Century Blue Folding Stool
Muqima al-Kaslaania with work from Sayyeda Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya
While helping a friend look for an image source, I spotted this stool (the lower figure sits on it).
From this image alone another researcher, Sayyed "Uncle" Rashid, believed it could be a common ceramic drum stool. Similar items are known from the period.
However, my friend Sayyeda Urtatim discovered another image from the same manuscript, this time housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/13.152.6. (December 2011)
And I discovered a third.
Folio from an Arabic translation of the Materia medica by Dioscorides. This Arabic translation is dated to 1224 in Baghdad. The original is
housed at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington,
D.C. Item number S 1986.97.
Finally, Sayyeda Urtatim discovered this fourth image from the same manuscript.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/57.51.21. (October 2006)
At first, I identified that each of these is situated near a cookpot, but it's actually a pharmacy or pharmacist in each image. All are blue, but because all are displayed in the same manuscript that could be a convention of the artist. Could it be a depiction of metal?
It looks to the modern eye like a folding stool, with the balls acting as hinge points. Other thoughts?
Wow!! Thank you, Rachel. Researcher Rachel Shaw saw this post and did the simplest search imaginable: "Islamic folding chair". She found this:
y Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1972; p. 301.