An early Islamic metal mirror with figurative art expresses archetypal structure

Lively characters in a roundel on the back of an early Islamic Turkish metal mirror cast found in Iran, expresses the universal subconscious set of character features, sequence, polar markers, and time-frame orientation. General themes in the design include type 5 Priest or Aquarius (assembly, varicoloured, hyperactive, priest, tailcoat-head); and type 6 Exile or Capricornus (polar, sacrifice, volute, horned, double-headed). The theme of ‘mirroring’ appears in a double-headed character (at 1); and in two antithetical staffs; and in subconscious doubling of four of the ‘single’ types; and in the practical purpose of the metal cast itself. Here is a list of how the artist expressed the universal subconscious typology.

Iranian or Turkish mirror back made for the Persian market, 1200s, early Islamic style (metal. After Pinterest. Typology and axial grid by ED Furter). (See another metal artefact made to order, in the Gundestrup Bowl made in Greece for the Celtic market, in Stoneprint Journal 1; Pictish Beasts).

Type; Character (archetypal features):

1 Builder or Taurus; Bauble A of bird-bull man (cluster), dancing (twisted).

3 Queen or AriesB; Two-headed staff (long or bent neck), antithetical (dragons).

4 King or Pisces; Eagle B (bird, twins) sitting (squatting) in a kiosk (rectangle).

5a Priest or Aquarius; Priest-king (assembly, varicoloured, priest).

5a Priest or AquariusB; Priest-king eye B (assembly, varicoloured, priest).

5b Priest or Aquarius; Eagle A (assembly, decan Aquila), looking back (inversion, of 12).

5c BasketTail; Two-headed staff dragon (heads, mirrored).

6 Exile or Capricornus; Dancer with cap (horned) presenting gift (sacrifice) at two-headed staff (volute).

6 Exile or CapricornusB; Dancer with cap (horned), presenting gift (sacrifice).

7 Child or Sagittarius; Centaur (rare), with bag.

9 Healer or Scorpius; Man-leopard?, arms back (bent forward, healer?).

10 Teacher or Libra; Tamer (guard, hunt master; or metallurgy), with bull-staff (staff).

10 Teacher or LibraB; Bull-staff (staff, carousel).

11 Womb or Virgo; Woman’s midriff (womb).

11p Gal.Pole: Woman’s knee (limb joint).

12 Heart or Leo; Lion (feline) chest (heart).

12 Heart or LeoB; Lion (feline) tamed (death).

13 Heart or Leo; Lion griffin (feline) chest (heart), broken hind leg (death; Ursa, foreleg).

13c BasketHead; Water snake (head, decan Hyda).

14 Mixer or Cancer; Dancer (dancer, not accounted here due to abundance).

14 Mixer or CancerB; Dancer B (dancer, not accounted here due to abundance).

15 Maker or Gemini; Gift (bag) of re-creator.

The midsummer or celestial pole marker is on the design centre (rare), or unmarked. The midwinter or celestial south pole marker is on a hand and knee, or a foot (limb joint). These options place ‘spring’ and the cultural time-frame in Age Taurus, confirmed by a bird-bull-man griffin as semi-conscious symbol of equinox, where two equators cross, and by the main character as an Aquarius winter ritual focal point). The time-frame is before the artist, as usual. An alternative time-frame of Age Aries-Pisces is indicated by a bird and two-headed staff near the top (see similar seasonal markers in Babylonian kudurru or boundary stones, in another post on Babylonian hour decans). This design elaborates several Age Taurus features (in contrast with the Age Aries Egyptian palettes, as demonstrated in another post, and in the book Mindprint). The artefact is of Age Pisces, an early Islamic medieval metalwork, before Islam banned figurative images. The transitional Aries-Pisces features express a transition between tradition and reform.

Published by Edmond Furter

Edmond Furter wrote the book Mindprint, the subconscious art code (2014, Lulu.com), to demonstrate five layers of recurrent features in 200 artworks of all cultures and Ages, revealing the archetypal core content of culture. His second book, Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities (2016, Four Equators Media), expands demonstrations of the subconscious expression of archetypal structure to houses, temples, monuments, pyramid fields, geoglyphs, villages, cities and regions. The same structure also appears in mythology, such as Babylonian building rituals; and in reflexology points in our hands and irises, thus in nature. Stoneprint also demonstrates that the periodic table is a kind of natural 'culture', and that culture is a natural 'species' of behaviour. The structure in our works is as rigorous as grammar or DNA. The books Mindprint, and Stoneprint, and editions of the structuralist anthropology periodical, Stoneprint Journal (some of which are available on Lulu.com), draw on extensive research in iconography, archaeology, history, esoterica, astronomy, art history and structuralist anthropology, spanning 26 years. The core content of culture includes about 100 recurrent features of the sixteen main types, their sequence, five polar markers, and a time-frame orientation, that nature, individuals and societies subconsciously and compulsively express in all media. The mindprint or stoneprint model of structuralist anthropology has several major implications for all the human sciences, and offers a theoretical bases for a holistic approach to the study of the cultural record. Edmond Furter works as a freelance researcher and editor in Johannesburg. Order the book Mindprint at $30, or the book Stoneprint at $30, or editions of Stoneprint Journal at $5, plus postage, on edmondfurter at gmail dot com; or Mindprint, or Stoneprint Journal editions on Lulu.com

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