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Bronze - Nineteenth century

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Bronze religious statue from Iran

This figure or statue is thought to be from Iran. It is made of bronze, and has traces of gilt still remaining. It was given to the Museum by William Isaac Palmer (1824-1893) of the Palmer family, one of the partners in Huntley & Palmers, Reading's biscuit manufacturers.

The Iranian origin of this figure is interesting, because the vast majority of Iranians are Muslim. It is highly unlikely that this figure represents an individual in Islam, as the depiction of living beings, and particularly of prophets or Allah, is prohibited and regarded as an extension of idolatry. Because of this, much Islamic art utilises elaborate arabic script and geometric patterns. Minority religions in Iran include Bahaism, Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Hinduism, but it is not known which deity this figure represents.

Museum object number REDMG : 1945.103.1

height 8 inches, width 3.5 inches

See related topic: World Collection: Belief