Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet)
Hegira late 9th–early 10th century / AD late 15th–early 16th century
S.N I. 030
Height 209.5 cm, width 97 cm
This single leaf of a door shows a geometric ornamentation based on stars and polygons in the main field. These elements are arranged in an all-over repeat pattern composed of a rosette in the middle and quarter sections of the central motif in the four corners. Strips marked with grooves form the strictly geometric structure of the tracery whose openings are filled with small bevelled panels. The strips and panels are connected by tongue and groove joints to achieve an unbroken surface.
Originally, the door seems to have been of symmetrical composition with a section with two plain rectangular panels in the upper and lower part and a large ornamented area in the middle. Possibly for a different use, the door was lengthened below by the addition of a section of two plain rectangular panels.
Single leaf of a door. The geometric ornament is formed of stars and polygons; the rosette in the middle is repeated in the four corners. The door, now lengthened, seems originally to have been of symmetrical composition with two plain rectangular panels above and below.
A pattern based on the geometrical elements of a star and polygons is a characteristic decoration scheme of Mamluk doors. This door was assigned to the late 9th –early 10th / late 15th–early 16th centuries because of the unornamented polygons. A carved wooden panel from a building of Sultan Qaytbay at Jamaliyya dated 885 / 1481 in the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo shows two small fields with the same geometric organisation.
There is no information about acquisition.
The geometrical pattern of a plain star and polygons was a characteristic decoration of Mamluk furniture.
Anglade, E., Catalogue des Boiseries de la Section Islamique, Paris, 1988.
Kühnel, E. “Der Mamlukische Kassettenstil”, Kunst des Orients I, 1950, pp.55–68.
Lane-Pool, S., The Art of the Saracens in Egypt, London, 1886.
Friederike Voigt "Door" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;se;Mus01;20;en
Prepared by: Friederike VoigtFriederike Voigt
Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.
Copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: SE 21