Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Dice

Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Ivory or bone; incised and inlaid with paint
Dimensions:
H. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) W. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Classification:
Gaming pieces
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.40.96
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 serve 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 in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1938, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

New York. Asia Society. "Asian Games: The Art of Contest," October 14, 2004–January 18, 2005, no. 2:12.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Asian Games: The Art of Contest," February 26, 2005–May 15, 2005, no. 2:12.

Middlebury College Museum of Art. "Asian Games: The Art of Contest," September 8, 2005–December 11, 2005, no. 2:12.

Mackenzie, Colin, and Irving Finkel, ed. Asian Games The Art of Contest. New York: Asia Society, 2004. no. 2:12, p. 45, ill. (color).



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