before 1975
Overall: 38.5 x 67 cm (15 3/16 x 26 3/8 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share


This silk was originally reported to be one of several fragments from garments, shroud, and tomb covers unearthed during the early 1900s at Bibi Shahr Banu outside the ancient city of Rayy, a few miles from Tehran. The fragment preserves a beginning (or finishing) edge at the bottom and a small portion of selvage along the left edge.

The exceptionally beautiful design of this silk is filled with ornament. Even the spaces between the roundels containing birds and palmette trees and the octagons with inscriptions enclosing floral devices are ornamented with an intricate geometric pattern. Islamic art is, above all, decorative in accordance with Muhammed's dislike of representing living forms. In Iran, floral and animal motifs never ceased to be represented even after the Islamic invasion, but they were depicted in a highly ornamental fashion as seen here.


before 1975

Iran or Iraq, in the style of the Buyid period (945–1055) or Seljuq period (1037–1194)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.