Beston Barnett Design

fine custom furniture and woodworking

Solomon’s Cabinets: Wadi Alnaml

44″w, 19″h, 17″d, walnut, ebonized walnut, silver wax

“Wadi Alnaml” is part of a series of cabinets which use the abstract vocabulary of Islamic geometry to illustrate legends of the biblical King Solomon. Translated from Arabic as “Valley of the Ants,” the title refers to the 27th chapter of the Quran, within which Solomon (who can understand the languages of all creatures) overhears an ant queen warning her subjects that the armies of the great king are coming and will crush them. Solomon is amused and either diverts his army to travel only on one side of the valley or, in another version, crosses the valley on a flying carpet . Here, I’ve used a circular Kufic script to write out the words “Wadi Alnaml” three times, and suggested the burrowing of the ants with organic lines which a pattern of five- and ten-pointed stars shine between. With two doors and an open display space at the center, the cabinet can be mounted on a stand or hung on a wall with a French clete (as pictured).


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