V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Warding off evil

This is an extremely rare ivory and wood panel from Fatimid Egypt. The intricate pattern was made by using many small pieces of ivory veneer into a wooden base. The six-pointed star in the centre is much simpler than later geometric motifs from Egypt. It represents the ‘seal of Solomon’, which was believed to ward off bad luck.

Base of a casket
Egypt, probably Cairo
1000-50
Museum No. 700-1884

Base of a casket