Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mold Fragment with Musicians

Object Name:
Mold fragment and modern cast
late 11th–early 12th century
Iran, Nishapur
Earthenware; carved
48.101.5a and b: H. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm) W. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm) D. 3 5/16 in. (8.4 cm) Wt. 23.9 oz. (677.7 g) 48.101.5c: H. 5 7/16 in. (13.8 cm) W. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm) D. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) Wt. 12.2 oz. (345.9 g)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
Not on view
This earthenware mold elucidates the manufacturing process of stonepaste, showing how technological advancement and artistic sophistication were incorporated in an industry that became progressively focused on extensive production. The exquisite carving displays, from the top: an inscribed band in cursive; a scene with a standing figure and musicians playing the lute and the flute; and a frieze with chasing quadrupeds. All the patterns have an intricate scrollwork as a background.
Inscription: The word السعادة الـ written in Naskhi script.

1947, excavated at kilns in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1948, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Louvre Long Term Loan," April 28, 2004–April 27, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs," April 25, 2016–July 24, 2016.

Wilkinson, Charles K. "The Kilns of Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 17 (May 1959). p. 239, ill. p. 239 (b/w).

Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 57a, ch. 11, pp. 272-273, 284, ill. p. 284 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 108i, pp. 179-187, ill. p. 184 (color).

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