Description & Technical information

The superposition of two calligraphic lines, one elegant naskh on the two lower thirds of the panel with elongated upstrokes rising up to the top border and one line of thin foliated Kufic in the upper third, finds many parallels in Timurid architectural decoration. A number of Timurid pious foundations have similar ornamentation: the Gur- I Mir of Timur (circa 1405-15) and the madrasa of Ulugh Beg (1417-21) in Samarkand are ornamented with comparable friezes either in tile mosaic or with moulded pottery tile (Turks, Exhibition Catalogue, London, 2005, p.207, fig. 153). The evenly grey schist in which these panels are deeply carved recalls examples of Timurid cenotaphs. The sobriety of this calligraphic prayer as well as its perfect condition may indicate that this frieze was decorating the interior wall of a funerary complex.

The inscription in Kufic reads repeatedly al-mukh li’llah (Sovereignty is God’s). The line of naskh is part of a prayer.

Date:  15th Century AD
Period:  1400-1600, 15th century
Origin:  Iran, Afghanistan, Timurid
Medium: Stone
Dimensions: 33 x 63 cm (13 x 24³/₄ inches)
Exhibitions: Masterpiece, London 2017

Categories: Oriental and Asian Art, Sculpture