Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of the Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of Tamerlane's Daughter, Toglu Tekin. Column Base


This photograph of a column on the facade of the Toglu Tekin (Emir Hussein) 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 (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire's Central Asian territories were called. The primary compilers for the visual material were Aleksandr L. Kun, an orientalist attached to the army, and Nikolai V. Bogaevskii, a military engineer. They devoted special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Timur (Tamerlane) and his successors. The Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) ensemble is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. In 1386 Emir Hussein (one of Timur’s grandees) built a mausoleum for his mother, Toglu Tekin. Despite losses over time, the facade and much of its polychrome tile decoration survived. This view shows the base of a glazed carved terracotta column attached to the left corner of the facade arch, or peshtak. The intricate design combines sinuous floral motifs with strapwork figures. The basic color is blue, with white detailing. On the right are alternating tile patterns that frame the inner facade of the peshtak.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Гробница святаго Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Мавзолей дочери Тамерлана Тоглу Тегин. База колоны

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 68.

Last updated: September 30, 2016