Furniture Inlay

1981.2111.33
Furniture inlay panel of ivory with two holes, one hole in the bottom right corner which is filled, and another hole at the top left corner which is hollow. There is a representation of a vase at the centre bottom with plants growing out of it and spreaing over the entire panel. The circular shapes at the top of the bone panel create symmetry as they link together on an equal level. Radio-carbon dating confirms the authenticity of the piece, but indicates that it was cut after the Islamic conquest of Egypt (639 AD). The limits are: probable - AD 656/855, virtually certain AD 605/943. The panel thus belongs to a well-defined type of 'abstract plant designs' which were deemed more appropriate than human figures in the new Islmaic art.