Object Name: Pair of doors
Date: 9th century
Geography: Found Iraq, probably Takrit. From Iraq, probably Samarra
Medium: Wood (teak); carved
Dimensions: H. 86 1/2 in. (221 cm)
W. 20 1/4 in (51.4 cm)
Combined W. 41 1/4 in (104.8 cm)
D. 1 1/2 in.
Wt. 165 lbs. (74.8 kg) weight includes 31.119.1, 31.1192 and wooden mount without plexi. mount is probably half of this weight.
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1931
Accession Number: 31.119.1
The city of Samarra in Iraq, about 125 miles upriver from Baghdad, was founded in A.D. 836 by the caliph al-Mu'tasim (r. 836–42) 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 Abbasid caliphs until near the end of the ninth century.
This pair of doors (31.119.1 and 31.119.2) illustrates one variety of the so-called beveled style—a symmetrical abstract floral motif—and were probably originally painted and highlighted with gilding. The doors are said to have been found at Takrit, but probably came from Samarra.