Centuries before block printing was introduced in Europe, the technique was used in the Islamic world to produce miniature texts consisting of prayers, incantations, and Qur’anic verses that were kept in amulet boxes. The text on this amulet is in the angular kufic script. The six-pointed star, a familiar symbol in Islamic art, is usually called “Solomon’s seal.”
Amulet 11th Century
About the Author
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, in the City of New York. The Museum's collection of Islamic art ranges in date from the seventh to the nineteenth century. Its nearly twelve thousand objects reflect the great diversity and range of the cultural traditions of Islam, with works from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India. Comprising sacred and secular objects, the collection reveals the mutual influence of artistic practices such as calligraphy, and the exchange of motifs such as vegetal ornament (the arabesque) and geometric patterning in both realms.