Wall panel with wings and a Pahlavi device encircled by pearls
ca. 6th century A.D.
H. 15 3/8 x W. 16 1/4 in. (39 x 41.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1932
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 405
Beginning in the 5th century, monograms became popular motifs used in the mold-made stucco wall panels that decorated the palaces and houses of the Sasanian elite, and many had symbolic meanings. This panel from the iwan (vaulted hall) of a large house at Umm ez-Za’tir, near the Taq-i Kisra at Ctesiphon, features a group of letters in the Persian script and a lunar crescent above symmetrical feathered wings and encircled by pearls: the motif very likely had protective significance. Half palmettes in the corners would have formed a complete design when this panel was placed within an arrangement with other similar ones. An identical panel is in Berlin in the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
1931–32, excavated by the Joint Expedition of the Staatliche Museen of Berlin and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired by the Museum in 1932, ceded in the division of finds.
Rakic, Yelena ed. 2010. Discovering the Art of the Ancient Near East: Archaeological Excavations Supported by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–2010. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (1), Summer 2010, p. 15.