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Tile from a Squinch

Object Name:
Tile from a squinch
Date:
second half 14th century
Geography:
present-day Uzbekistan, Samarqand
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; carved and glazed
Dimensions:
H. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm) W. 8 5/8 in. 21.9 cm) D. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
The Grinnell Collection, Bequest of William Milne Grinnell, 1920
Accession Number:
20.120.189
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This intricately carved tile exhibits a distinctive curving arched shape that identifies it as a muqarnas element. A muqarnas is a stalactite‑like form that often adorns the interior curves of domes, niches, and portals of Islamic buildings. The precise origin of this tile remains unknown, although it is similar to tiles used at the Shah‑i Zinda funerary complex in Samarqand.
William Milne Grinnell, New York (until d. 1920; bequeathed to MMA)
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 130, pp. 4, 192-193, ill. p. 192 (color).



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