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


This photograph of a column capital on the facade of the Toglu Tekin (Emir Hussein) Mausoleum at the Shakh-i-Zinda 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 Shakh-i-Zinda (Persian for “living king”) ensemble is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. In 1386 a mausoleum was built for Toglu Tekin, daughter of Emir Khodzha and mother of Emir Hussein--one of Timur’s grandees. Despite losses over time, the facade and much of its polychrome tile decoration survived. This view shows the capital of a glazed carved terracotta column attached to the right corner of the facade arch, or peshtak. The intricate design combines sinuous floral motifs with strapwork figures. To the right is a vertical strip of ceramic tiles with a trefoil pattern.

Date Created

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. капитель 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