Carved wood; 87 3/4 x 41 1/4 in. (222.9 x 104.7 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.119.1,.2)
The city of Samarra in Iraq, about 125 miles upriver from Baghdad, was founded in 836 A.D. by the caliph al-Muctasim (r. 83642) to accommodate his unruly Turkic soldiers, who had made life impossible in the capital city of Baghdad. Samarra was the second and temporary capital of the cAbbasid caliphs until near the end of the ninth century.
These doors illustrate one variety of the so-called beveled stylea symmetrical abstract floral motifand were probably originally painted and highlighted with gilding. The doors are said to have been found at Takrit, but probably came from Samarra.