Wall panel with wings and a Pahlavi device encircled by pearls


Not on view

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.

Wall panel with wings and a Pahlavi device encircled by pearls, Stucco, Sasanian

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