Islamic Middle East

Room 42

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The V&A holds over 19,000 items from the Middle East and North Africa, ranging from the early Islamic period (the 7th century) to the early 20th century.

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These vibrant collections include holdings of metalwork, ceramics, architectural woodwork and textiles, in particular from Iran, and also from Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the countries of North Africa. Highlights include the Ardabil Carpet, the world's oldest dated carpet and one of the largest, most beautiful and historically important.

Exploring Islamic Middle East

Photo of Kaftan, unknown, about 1590, Turkey. Museum no. 753-1884. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Kaftan, unknown, about 1590, Turkey. Museum no. 753-1884. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Mamluk minbar, unknown, 1468-1496, Egypt. Museum no. 1050:1 to 2-1869. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Mamluk minbar, unknown, 1468-1496, Egypt. Museum no. 1050:1 to 2-1869. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of '22,500' Composition, Hadieh Shafie, 2011, USA. Museum no. ME.1-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'22,500' Composition, Hadieh Shafie, 2011, USA. Museum no. ME.1-2012. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'Luck of Edenhall', beaker, about 1350, Egypt or Syria. Museum no. C.1 to B-1959. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Luck of Edenhall', beaker, about 1350, Egypt or Syria. Museum no. C.1 to B-1959. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of The Ardabil Carpet (detail), unknown, 1539 – 1540, Iran. Museum no.  272-1893. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Ardabil Carpet (detail), unknown, 1539 – 1540, Iran. Museum no. 272-1893. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Rock crystal ewer, unknown,  1000-1050, Egypt. Museum no. 7904-1862. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rock crystal ewer, unknown, 1000-1050, Egypt. Museum no. 7904-1862. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of 'Animals by the Watering Hole', tapestry, Ali Salim, 1985. Museum no. ME.1-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Animals by the Watering Hole', tapestry, Ali Salim, 1985. Museum no. ME.1-2008. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Ivory pyxis, unknown, 969-970 AD, Spain. museum no. 368-1880. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ivory pyxis, unknown, 969-970 AD, Spain. museum no. 368-1880. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tile panel (detail), unknown, 17th century, Iran. Museum no.  139:1 to 4-1891. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tile panel (detail), unknown, 17th century, Iran. Museum no. 139:1 to 4-1891. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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