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Image of Tray with Imagery from the Garden of Eden

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Unknown Artist

Tray with Imagery from the Garden of Eden


22 3/4 in. x 22 3/4 in. (57.79 cm x 57.79 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: W.178
Other Number(s): Deanery.196 (Deanery Number)
Geography: Asia, Possibly Syria, Possibly Damascus
Culture/Nationality: Persian
Collection: Deanery Collection
Description: M. Carey Thomas, the first Dean and second President of Bryn Mawr College, lived in the Deanery from 1885 to 1933. She and her partner, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, who lived with her in the Deanery from 1904-1915, traveled extensively and collected art and furniture from around the world, particularly from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries.

This metal tray is one of the many works of religious art that were purchased to decorate the Deanery, which together represent many of the major world religions (including Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam). The central scene on the tray depicts Adam and Eve, with surrounding inscriptions in Arabic that reference other narratives found in the Abrahamic textual traditions.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • Arabic numerals - The symbols 0, 1, 2, and so forth, derived from Arabic numerical notation in the late Middle Ages in Europe.
  • brass - Alloy of copper and zinc, usually with copper as the major alloying element and zinc up to 40% by weight. For an alloy consisting mainly of copper, combined most often with tin, but at times also with other metals, use "bronze (metal)."
  • copper - Pure metallic element having the symbol Cu and atomic number 29; a reddish brown, ductile metal that is present in the earth's crust, occurring as a native metal and as ores of sulfide, sulfate and carbonate (azurite, malachite, etc.). It was the first metal used by humans, probably from about 8000 BCE, in the regions of Mesopotamia and India. By about 3800 BCE copper was made into bronze for weapons and knives. Today, copper is one of the most widely used metals because it has high electrical and thermal conductivity, can be easily fabricated, is ductile and polishes well. In moist air, copper forms a protective green film of basic carbonate. Metallic copper combines well with other metals to form alloys, most commonly brass and bronze. Copper and its alloys are used for wire, electrical devices, pipes, cooking vessels, ammunition, ornamental trim, roofing, grillwork, coins, musical instruments, jewelry, and sculptures.
  • religious art - Use broadly for art depicting religious subjects or for art used in worship.
  • silver - Pure metallic element having symbol Ag and atomic number 47; a malleable, ductile, white metal with characteristic sheen, considered a precious metal. Silver is widely distributed throughout the world, occurring rarely as metallic silver (in Peru, Norway) but more often as silver-gold alloys and silver ore. Today silver is obtained as a byproduct in the refinement of gold, lead, copper, or zinc ores. Silver was smelted from the ore galena as early as 3800 BCE. As a pure metal, silver is second to gold in malleability and ductility, can be polished to a highly reflective surface, and used -- typically in an alloy -- in jewelry, coinage, photography, mirrors, electrical contacts, and tableware.
  • trays - Open, variously shaped containers of wood, metal or other rigid material with a flat bottom and a low rim for holding, carrying, or exhibiting articles.

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Additional Image W.178_BMC_f_2.jpg

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Tray with Imagery from the Garden of Eden |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/6/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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