Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mosaic Tesserae

Object Name:
9th century
Excavated in Iraq, Samarra
Glass, green and blue
Largest: 3/4 x 3/4 in. Smallest: 1/2 x 1/2 in.
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
Not on view
Compared to findings at seventh- and eighth- century sites in the region, a relatively small number of glass tesserae were excavated at Samarra, suggesting that the medium had become rare in Mesopotamia but was still valued as a sign of imperial taste. Samarra's mosaics included pieces of mother-of-pearl that would have added to their reflective qualities.
British Museum, London (until 1923; sold to Robert L. Hobson for MMA)
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