Beston Barnett Design

fine custom furniture and woodworking

Solomon’s Cabinets: Aljinu

44″w, 19″h, 17″d, mahogany, walnut, cherry, jarrah, ash, gold leaf

“Aljinu” (“The djinn” in Arabic) is part of a series of cabinets which use the abstract vocabulary of Islamic geometry to illustrate legends of the biblical King Solomon. In the Islamic tradition, Solomon builds the Temple by controlling an army of djinn. The djinn are said to come from a world made of fire, and are sometimes depicted as fantastical animal hybrids. Here, I’ve used gold to suggest fire, a horseshoe arch to suggest a portal, and non-repeating patterns with varied woods to suggest a chaotic, unpredictable world. The djinn themselves look out from the centers of stars: a winged sphinx, a horned goat man, a Medusa-like creature, a salamander with a fiery tail. With two doors and a display space at one end, the cabinet can be mounted on a stand or hung on a wall with a French clete (as pictured).

* geometry note: Both the larger lattice and the smaller gold patterns are based on Penrose tilings. And where most Islamic lattice adopts either a mitered or an under-over approach at intersections, here I’ve done both: over-under in the ten-pointed star segments, mitered at all other intersections.

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