Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Button or Bead

Object Name:
Button or bead
Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Bone; tinted, incised, and inlaid with paint
Dimensions:
H. 3/8 in. (1 cm) Diam. 9/16 in. (1.4 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.170.320
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.
1937–39, excavated in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

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