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 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 37.40.46. As is evident from its slender shape, this panel was made to cover a thin section of wall between two corners. One of the striking aspects of Nishapur’s architectural ornament is the manner in which panels were carved by hand to fit into quite irregular spaces. Such work required significant ingenuity and creativity from the designers and carvers.
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. 233, ill. fig. 3.25 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. p. 11, ill. fig. 16.
Blair, Sheila S. Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. pp. 48-49, ill. fig. 2.24 (b/w).