- Museum number
Stamp (vessel): mikyāl al-kabīr.Four line inscription. Piece of attached rim. Made of green glass.
- Production date
- 750 (circa)
Width: 4.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
See also OA+ 4093.
From the same die: Launois, Aimée. 1958. Deux Estampilles et un gros poids Omeyyades en verre. ‘Journal Asiatique’ CCXLVI. Paris, 3; Balog, P. 1976. ‘Ummayad, ʿAbbasid and Ṭūlūnid glass weights and vessel-stamps’. New York, 288. Cf. Balog 1976, 289.
The end of al-kabīr was not clear on Launois' piece and she read al-kusbur, coriander, a substance which has been found on stamps in the form habb al-kusbur, coriander seed. Balog read mikyāl al-kabīr, pointing out that such a denomination is not known earlier. Nor, in fact, is it known later, nor has the possible synonym mikyala al-kabīra been found. Consideration of the very small number of commodity stamps with Āl Muhammad on them suggests that Balog's reading is correct and that the introduction of the new measure can be explained. The rest of the corpus consists of one half raṭl of fat (duhn), two mikyāls of white cumin and one of woad (Casanova 1893, 163; Balog 1976, 290-2). On the other hand five specimens of the mikyāl al-kabīr are now known and all other common commodities are so far unrepresented. Some will no doubt eventually turn up, but probably not all for the absence of so many commodities is likely to be due to the fact that some of them were not then sold by their own individual measures but by the mikyāl al-kabīr. The introduction of the new measure would be a shortlived and presumably not very successful attempt to simplify the system. Commodities sold in rather larger quantities, lentils, chick-peas, vetch and the like, in all possibility, would have been sold by the new measure. It seems unlikely that identical measures of different commodities could have all been sold at one price and it would therefore seem that we cannot assume, just because prices are marked on some stamps, that the prices of measures were always fixed.
The word mikyāl is a synonym of mikyala, both meaning measure. It is occasionally found on anonymous stamps but otherwise its use is limited to Āl Muḥammad types, on which mikyala never occurs, and on which mikyāl is invariably written without the 'alif'.
Balog, P. 1976. ‘Ummayad, ʿAbbasid and Ṭūlūnid glass weights and vessel-stamps’. New York;
Casanova, P. 1893. Catalogue des pièces de verre des époques byzantine et arabe de la collection Fouquet. ‘Mémoires publicées par les membres de la Mission Archéologique Francaise au Caire’ VI. Paris.
- Not on display
- Middle East
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: P22