Wooden combs

15thcentvandacomb This wooden comb was thought to have been made in Spain between 1400-1450 C.E. It is pierced boxwood with inlays of silver done in the style of mosaics. This is typical of Nasrid woodwork and it called taracea in Spanish. It is 24.1 cm long. It is in the V & A Museum.

14thcentegyptiancomb This comb was thought be be from the 14th century and was found in Egypt. It is stamped and engraved with a zigzag and holes. There is Arabic on the end, but no translation is on the Qantara site.

13th14thcentcomb This comb is thought to have been made between the 13th and 14th century in Egypt. It is carved with zigzags, circles and an Arabic inscription “firm power”. It is 5.2 cm high and 8.3 cm wide. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


This wooden comb is carved, decorated with joined circles and two Arabic inscriptions “Everlasting Glory” and “and Prosperity”. It is 7.7 cm high and 7.6 cm wide. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recommended reading
Baths and Bathing Culture in the Middle East: The Hammam on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.

Some Nasrid textiles

goldennasridtextile This textile comes from Spain, during the reign of the Nasrid dynasty in the 13th century. This textile is 7.6 cm high and 12.1 cm wide. It is silk, in a lampas weave, with gilt silk thread. It came from the vestment robes of the followers of St. Valerius and probably worn on January 22nd, the Feast day of St Valerius. The textile is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

nasridtextilewithtambourineplayes This textile is from 13th century Spain, also silk lampas with gilt silk thread. It is 10.3 cm high and 10.8 cm wide. The textile features tambourine players wearing clothes with geometric designs. This textile piece was found with other textile fragments in a 13th century manuscript in the cathedral of Vich. This textile can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

nasridtextilegeometricstar This textile is a 14th century Nasrid textile, also silk weave lampas with gilt silk thread. It is 11.4 cm high and 8.9 cm wide. The design of a geometric floral/star theme that is common in Nasrid textiles, illuminations, wood work, book binding and stucco work. This textile is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recommended reading
Western Islamic Art by Don Aanavi. JStor article.
Nasrid plasterwork: symbolism, materials & techniques by Victor Borges. V&A Conservation Journal, Autumn 2004 Issue 48.
Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art edited by Maryam Ekhtiar. Via Google Books.
Islamic tilings of the Alhambra Palace: teaching the beauty of mathematics by Raymond F. Tennant. Via Medievalist.net.

Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art by the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
Islamic Art and Geometric Design by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. PDF format.
Plant motifs in Islamic art by the V&A Teachers’ Resource Guide.
Maths and Islamic art & design by the V&A Teachers’ Resource Guide.

A Nasrid belt

This was either a belt or horse bridle, thought to have been made in the royal workshop (due to the quality) in the 15th century in Granada, Spain. It is made of gilt copper with filigree, granulation and cloisonné enamel. The ornaments would have been threaded onto a leather belt, which can be seen in the side view- The detail of the larger ornament- Detail of another ornament- All of the ornaments have different decorations. The ornaments can be seen at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Nasrid jewelry

These are earring elements, made of filigree gold and enamel. The 14th century elements are 3cm long and made of spiralling gold wire, the central band with cloisonné enamel lettering on a ground of gold spirals above a minor band of zigzags, the lower hemispherical portion with heart shaped gold spirals. The earrings were sold by Christies for £18,800 ($29,779).

This necklace is late 15th-16th century, made of filigreed and granulated gold with cloisonné enamel. While this was made by Nasrid craftsmen, the inscription is Latin- “Hail Mary, full of Grace” meaning it would have been made for a Christian. The medallion is 7.6 x 0.5 cm, the lotus bud is 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.5 cm with the largest of the cylinder beads 4.8 x 1.7 cm and the smallest 2.5 x 1.3 cm. It is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This is a locket from a sword belt, made of gilded copper alloy, with granulation and cloisonné enamel. Thought to have been made between 1492-1550, it has a meaningless Arabic inscription. Most likely this was a trophy made from the “Reconquista” of Spain. It has a height of 7.3 cm, width of 14.6 cm and depth of 1.4 cm. The item is currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Recommended reading
The Survival of Nasrid Granada during the Reconquest by Marcel Abou-Assaly. Via Medievalists.net.
Moorish Spain by Richard Fletcher. Via Google Books.
The Art of Islamic Spain by Patricia, Countess Jellicoe. Via Saudi Aramco World.
The Muslims of Valencia in the Age of Fernando and Isabel by Mark D. Meyerson. Via Google Books.
Muqarnas edited by Gulru Necipoglu. Via Google Books.

Nasrid Qur’an case

This is a 15th century leather Qur’an case, embroidered with gilt-silver wire. Thought to have belonged to one of the Nasrid rulers, it is unclear who it did belong to. The inscription on the front says “There is no conqueror but God” which is repeated on the back.

It is 10.8 x 12.4 cm or 4 1/4 x 4 7/8 inches. Under the flap is embroidered a right hand, palm up.
Currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art but is not on show.

Some Nasrid items

The Nasrid dynasty ruled the kingdom of Granada, the last of the Muslim kingdoms of Spain or the Al-Andalus. The jewel in the Nasrid crown is, of course, the Alhambra, but other items remain to be studied and enjoyed.

This is a silk textile, 102 x 36.3 cm in a lampas weave. Very similar to a tiraz band, there is black kufic script, which translates as “beatitude” while in the small cartouches, in nakshi script, reads “good luck and prosperity”. Currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is a wool carpet, woven in the first half of the 15th century and is 3.10 x 1.69 m. Also found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is a curving x-frame chair, 100 x 68.5 x 48cm. Made from hardwood, with silver and bone inlaid in geometric floral patterns and stars. The leather has been replaced though. Sold at Christies for £385,250 or $627,187.

If interested, this site shows how to make an x-frame chair.