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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Highlights: 35 objects

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Part of a set with...

Door with geometric insets

  • Description

    Within the architecture of Egypt during the Mamluk sultanate (1250–1517), which was predominantly made of stone, wood was used for elements such as ceilings, doors, prayer niches (mihrab), pulpits (minbar), and screens (mashrabiyya). As timber was expensive and not available in great quantities in the region, most of these items were built and decorated by assembling small pieces of wood rather than using large panels.

    In this pair of doors, the wood background provides the framework of the decorative geometric pattern, where ivory and ebony insets were inserted. Both ebony and ivory plaques were carved with vegetal patterns. Five of the ivory plaques, however, have crosses, instead of vegetal decoration, as their central decoration. This suggests that these doors belonged to a Christian building, possibly a Coptic church, and that, with the exception of some specific elements, a shared decorative vocabulary was used for patrons belonging to the different religious communities present in Egypt at this time.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Africa Egypt (place of creation)
    Africa Egypt (a Christian building) (original location)
    Date
    late 13th century - early 14th century
    Mamluk Period (1250 - 1517)
    Material and technique
    palisander wood, inset with ivory and ebony, and with carved decoration
    Dimensions
    both panels 157 x 77 x 3 cm (height x width x depth)
    each panel 157 x 38 x 3 cm (height x width x depth)
    Material index
    organicvegetalwood ebony
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    1
    Credit line
    Purchased with the assistance of the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1984.
    Accession no.
    EA1984.16

Location

    • First floor | Room 31 | Islamic Middle East

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.

 

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