This cast was taken from a square panel excavated at Nishapur from a mound known as Sabz Pushan (the Green Covered). Excavations at Sabz Pushan revealed part of a residential neighborhood with several houses and an alleyway. This piece was found in an iwan, or covered room opening onto a courtyard, richly decorated with carved panels and wall paintings. This iwan may have been part of a private house, but the presence of a mihrab (prayer niche) suggests that it could have also served as a small neighborhood mosque. Other carved panels found in the same iwan include MMA 37.40.40, 37.40.43, 37.40.45 and 37.40.47. Originally part of a dado, the carved decoration on the lower half of a wall, this panel consists of a six-lobed medallion filled with half-palmette leaves and bordered by a dense vegetal scroll. Although invisible on the cast, the original panel was further embellished with bright yellow, red and blue. The intense coloration combined with the intricate and variegated carvings worked together to create visually striking surfaces that further distinguished architecturally-important spaces like iwans from their surroundings.
1936, excavated at Sabz Pushan in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1937, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds
Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Some Early Islamic Buildings and their Decoration. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. p. 232, ill. fig. 3.24 (b/w).
Blair, Sheila S. Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. pp. 48-49, ill. fig. 2.24 (b/w).