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Button or Bead or Spindle Whorl

Object Name:
Button or bead or spindle whorl
Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Iran, Nishapur
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Jet; incised
Classification:
Stone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.170.379
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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