Indo-Saracenic Revival

Cast Iron Indo-Saracenic Temple Arch Bookends by Bradley & Hubbard (LEO Design)

I bought these bookends simply because I thought they were beautiful—and I had never seen a similar pair before.  A little research has yielded quite a lot about the Indo-Saracenic Revival, after which these were modeled.

“Indo” usually denotes “of Indian provenance or influence.” “Saracenic” is from a Latin term, coined by the Romans, which initially referred to non-Arabs living in and around the Arabian Peninsula.  In time, the term Saracenic broadened to include all Muslims or Arabs as a group.  When put together, “Indo-Saracenic” usually refers to a type of Victorian English architecture (and design) executed by the British in Colonial India (and, later, Malaysia).

The style was a theatrical hybrid of Indian and Islamic or Turkic motifs, blended with a dash of the Victorian English Gothic Revival.  It expressed a sort of romantic Orientalism favored by the British and they left a trail of such architecture in many of the warm-climate cities which they colonized—New Delhi, Bombay (now Mumbai), Madras (now Chennai), Karachi, Lahore, Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur.

Please come into the shop to see them in-person or click on the photo above to learn more about them.


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