Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Button or Spindle Whorl

Object Name:
Button or spindle whorl
Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Bone; incised
Dimensions:
H. 1/4 in. (0.7 cm) Diam. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.40.31
Not on view
The dot-in-circle motif recalls designs presumed to be of magical significance, most likely an abstract eye to ward off the evil-eye, which serves an apotropaic function. Easily reproduced with a tool and visible in many cultures and times, this symbol may have lost its meaning, and become simply a decorative pattern, or may have one that we have not yet discovered.
1937, excavated at Sabz Pushan in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1938, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

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