A Day at the Met: It’s the Little Things

Met Museum photos

Ceramic (Mina’i ware), Iran, 12th – 13th century AD.

On the Sunday of Mother’s Day we spent a family day (dearly missing one sister) at the Met. I was expecting crowds, but it was pleasant and easy. We made a conscious decision to just take in just a tiny portion of the museum, and I have to say, it was a brilliant move. Just taking in a bit is always better than leaving exhausted, and we left with enough energy to walk through Central Park afterward. Good day!

While trying to not to lag behind too much, I stopped to look at the little things up close. There is some kind of energy coming off of some of these pieces — I imagine the hand crafters who labored over these pieces, and wonder where they were, and what their studios looked like, and how long it took them, and why they were inspired (or required?) to make them just so.

It’s a bit silly to say, but so much of this seems like it would be commercially popular today. Beautiful, classic designs, and of course with that worn look that hasn’t yet gone out of style. Wouldn’t you want something here in your home?

Met Museum photos

Stucco, Mesopotamia, excavated at Ctesiphon, Umm ez-Za’tir, 6th century AD

Met Museum photos

Bronze, whetstone in the form of a stag, Caucasus region, early 1st millenium BC

Met Museum photos

Gold, Central Anatolia, Hittite Empire period, 15th-13th century BC.

Met Museum photos

Silver, gold inlay, vessel terminating in the forepart of a stag. Central Anatolia, Hittite Empire, 15th – 13th century BC.

Met Museum photos

Copper alloy, openwork stamp seals, Central Asia (Bactria-Margiana), late 3rd – early 2nd millennium.

Met Museum photos

The Met.

Met Museum photos

Buddha fragment from larger stele. Henan province, Eastern Wei dynasty (535-50), mid-6th century.

Met Museum photos

Bronze mat weight in the shape of a doe. Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), 1st century BC – 1ts century AD.

Met Museum photos

Bronze 11-headed Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. Thailand, Khmer style of Koh Ker in Peninsular Thailand, 10th century.

Met Museum photos

Bronze with silver inlay and traces of gold, kneeling female, Cambodia, Angkor period, Khmer style of the Baphuon, second half of the 11th century. Perhaps a Khmer queen. There are indications that the figure was once completely gilded. Her brows and eyes are hollowed to receive an inlay, perhaps of black glass.

Met Museum photos

Same as above, in detail.

Met Museum photos

Lime containers, Indonesia (Java, Lumajang, Pasiran). [As far as I could tell, this was the proper caption]

Met Museum photos

Painted and gessoed wood. The four sons of Horus, and Anubis. Late Dynastic-Ptolemaic Periods ca. 715 – 30 BC. These deities protect the four organs that wre removed from the body during mummification. Anubis is the god of embalming.

Met Museum photos

Gold, bracelet with spirally twisted strands and Herakles knot at the bezel. 2nd century AD, said to be from lower Egypt.

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2 thoughts on “A Day at the Met: It’s the Little Things

  1. jewelsforall says:

    Those are some great pieces. It always amazes me the level of skill and detail in ancient art like this, when they only had rudimentary tools. I think it makes me appreciate the work that much more.


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