Capital, Alabaster, gypsum; carved


late 8th century
Made in Syria, probably Raqqa
Alabaster, gypsum; carved
H. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm)
W. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
D. 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Wt. 104 lbs (47.2 kg)
Credit Line:
Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
This object exhibits the decorative language of Samarra, the second and temporary Abbasid capital. Among the various styles of surface ornament created at Samarra, the beveled style is the most well known. This style refers to a form of ornamentation based on a vegetal design that was slant cut so that the foreground and background become almost indistinguishable.
[ Eustache de Lorey, Paris, until 1936; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 87, ill. fig. 52 (b/w).

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Arts & the Islamic World, Arts & The Islamic World, vol. 3, no. 3 (Autumn 1985). p. 55, ill. figs. 9, 10.