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Model of a House with Amorous Couple

Object Name:
House model
12th–early 13th century
Stonepaste; molded, glazed in opaque white, luster-painted
H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm) W. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm) D. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm) Wt. 18.7 oz. (530.2 g)
Credit Line:
The Grinnell Collection, Bequest of William Milne Grinnell, 1920
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999
Ceramic house models may have been wedding gifts. The erotic imagery on the rooftop of the luster house model, complemented by inscribed good wishes, relates the object to marriage. The turquoise model’s open courtyard with pierced balustrade and corner roof projections suggests a vernacular building. A festive occasion is depicted, with seated personages holding cups and a couple dancing with raised arms. The role of the turbaned, bearded man on a high stepped stool—a figure who bears the conventional traits of older, wise, educated, or religious men—remains enigmatic.
Inscription: Inscribed in Arabic in cursive along the top edge:
] العز الدائم )؟( ]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . [ الغالب ]. . . . . . . .
Perpetual glory (?) [. . .] Victor [. . .]1
William Milne Grinnell, New York (until d. 1920; bequeathed to MMA)
Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 18, pp. 78-79, ill. p. 79 (color).

"Ceramic House Models from Medieval Persia: Domestic Architecture and Concealed Activities." The British Institute of Persian Studies 46 (2008). p. 230, ill. fig. 6 (b/w).

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