Steel, cut and pierced; L. 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1987 (1987.14)
This piece belongs to a group of eight plaques, each inscribed with a verse from the same Shici poem giving the names of the Prophet, cAli, Fatima, and the imams. It is possible that these plaques were set in the wooden doorway to a royal tomb. The striking cartouche shape is created by lobed arches formed at the horizontal ends of the rectangular panes, with smaller arches projecting from each straight border. The pious verse, inscribed in thuluth script, is set against an openwork ground of spiraling arabesque scrolls. Cut-steel panels were a specialty in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Iran, although few survive in such good condition.