Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of the Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of Emir Kutuluk Turdi Bek Aka. Inscription on the Pedestal
This photograph of a ceramic detail at the Shadi Mulk mausoleum at the Shah-i Zindah necropolis in Samarkand is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general, in 1867-82, of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Tamerlane and his successors. Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kussam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. The mausoleum of Shadi-Mulk Aka was built in 1372 for the burial of Uldjai Shadi-Mulk, the daughter of Tamerlane's elder sister, Kutlug-Turkan-Aka. The majolica panel shown here is located on the right side of the base of the main facade. Its intricate design is based on a composite circle containing Arabic script in the cursive Thuluth style, with five monochrome disks marking the boundaries of the design. The curvilinear script within the circle is matched by intertwined tendril patterns at the corners of the panel. The inscription was subsequently rotated one quarter turn counterclockwise, presumably during a Soviet-era restoration. The panel is framed by turquoise tiles.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Title in Original Language
Самаркандския древности. Гробница святого Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Мавзолей Эмира Кутулука Турди-Бек-Ака. надпись на цокуле
Type of Item
1 photographic print : albumen
- Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 29.
Last updated: September 22, 2014