Capital, 10th century
Spain, probably Madinat al-Zahra'
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm), Gr. W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Theodore D. Davis collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1930 (30.95.134)
This capital probably came from the splendid Umayyad royal residence city of Madinat al-Zahra’, near Córdoba, Spain, which was founded in 936. The classical tradition so important in Umayyad
Syrian art is evident here. This is not surprising in light of the Syrian roots of this caliphal house (711–1031), which arose in Spain after the Umayyad dynasty was replaced and almost
extinguished by the new cAbbasid rulers centered in Baghdad.
These stunningly detailed
sculptures may only be made from paper - but they are being snapped up by art fans for tens of thousands of pounds. The intricate creations depict Native American scenes and took up to 11 months
to make using a specially formulated paper