Seal Stone

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

Early Islamic seal stones were made from a variety of stones that came in many shapes and forms. The undeciphered inscription on this pink carnelian stone is a single word and is probably a name.

Personal seals served as an individual’s official signature in the Near East long before the advent of Islam. Among the many stones employed as seals, carnelian was by far the most popular, owing at least in part to its availability, toughness, and resistance to abrasion. It was also noted to be the favorite stone of the Prophet Muhammad.

Seal Stone, Carnelian; incised

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