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Art/ Collection/ Art Object


12th century
Attributed to Egypt, Cairo
Wood, bone; carved, inlaid and painted
H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm) W. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm) D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) Wt. 7.2 oz. (204.1 g)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
Not on view
Wood, either carved or inlaid with ivory or with other types of wood, was commonly used as architectural furnishing during the medieval period in Ayyubid Cairo. The design of this piece consists of the scrolling overall pattern known in the West as the arabesque. By general definition the arabesque—a French word originating at the end of the eighteenth century—is a rhythmical arrangement of vine scrolls and foliate forms, often incorporating split leaves; vines emanate from the tips of the leaves, assuring infinite extension of the pattern.
[ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, until 1924; sold to MMA]
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