of square section with joint at one end, carved in relief on one face with a single band of kufic inscription 78 cm. long
Provenance: Collection Elie de Rothschild, Paris, Jean Paul Croisier Collection, Geneva
This piece came from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo and forms part of the same beam, a larger section of which was sold at Sotheby's (Arts of the Islamic World, 24th October 2007, lot 56), and is now in the Aga Khan Collection (accession no. AKM00701). Formerly in the collection of Elie de Rothschild and subsequently the Croisier Collection, Geneva, both beams were exhibited together at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris. Only two other Tulunid beams with calligraphic decoration are known, one datable to AH 263-65/ AD 876-79 in the Louvre, Paris (Musee du Louvre, Catalogue des boiseries de la section islamique, pp. 20-21, no. 6), the other exisiting in fragments in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo (Inv. 622-626 published in David-Weill, J., Les bois a epigraphes jusqu'a l'epoque mamelouke. Catalogue generale du Musee arabe du Caire, Cairo, 1931, pl. III).