Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Button

Date:
8th–10th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Jet; carved
Dimensions:
H. 3/8 in. (1 cm) Diam. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm)
Classification:
Stone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.40.81
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
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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