Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Double-Sided Tombstone

Object Name:
10th century and dated A.H. 646/ A.D. 1248–49
Attributed to Egypt
Marble; carved
H. 22 1/16 in. (56 cm) W. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm) D. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm) Wt. 80 lbs.
Credit Line:
Purchase, James and Diane Burke Gift, in honor of Dr. Marilyn Jenkins-Madina, 2010
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
This marble tombstone is carved on both sides: on the side on view, a Qur'anic verse (Sura 3:18) is inscribed in robust kufic script, characteristic of the Fatimid period. More than two centuries later, the stone was reused, again as a tomb marker. It was inverted and carved with an inscription that includes a death date of 1248–49, framed within an arch on columns with rosettes in the spandrels and a lamp suspended from its apex.
Private collection, London (late 1950s or 60s–1977); Sotheby's, London, May 2, 1977, no. 189; Private collection, Europe (1977–2010); [ Sam Fogg, London, 2010; sold to MMA]
"London, 2 May, 1977." In Arms and Armour, Glass, Textiles, Ceramics, Woodwork and Metalwork, also Qajar Enamels. London: Sotheby's, London, 1977. no. 189, p. 24, ill. pl. XXV (b/w).

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