Panel from a Cenotaph or Symbolic Coffin with Marquetry Decoration
second half 8th century
Wood (fig); mosaic with bone and four different types of wood
H. 18 3/4 in. (47.6 cm)
W. 76. 1/2 in. (194.3 cm)
H. 24 1/2 in.
W. 80 1/2 in.
D. 6 in.
Wt. 97 lbs. (44 kg) with mount and plexi
Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1937
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
The most complete surviving example of its kind, this panel most likely comes from a side of a cenotaph. It shows clear similarities to the carved decoration of a group of panels found at the 'Ain al‑Sira cemetery in Egypt. It incorporates decorative elements from both the Late Antique and Sasanian traditions. The geometric motifs derive directly from Roman mosaics, whereas the winglike designs in the arch spandrels are of Sasanian derivation.
[ Paul Mallon, Paris, until 1937; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 125, ill. fig. 69 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. ill. fig. 69 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammadan Art. Iran Library. Tehran: Bongah Tarjomeh va Nashr Ketab, 1957. ill. fig. 69 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. ill. fig. 69 (b/w).
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Arts & the Islamic World, Arts & The Islamic World, vol. 3, no. 3 (Autumn 1985). p. 51, ill. figs. 1, 2.
Ettinghausen, Richard, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Islamic Art and Architecture 650-1250. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. p. 65, ill. fig. 98 (color).
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. 21, pp. 43-44, ill. p. 43 (color).