before 1883 (made)


Height: 62 cm, Width: 130.5 cm, Depth: 3.5 cm

1202-1883 MES

Plaster window with coloured glass in a pattern forming the shahadah (Islamic profession of faith), Egypt, before 1883.

This large rectangular Islamic stained glass window has a wooden frame. Perforations are carved into a slab of stucco and backed with coloured glass to create the pattern. This example has a large number of small circular perforations which form the background to the dominant orange inscription. The inscription is the shahada.

Glazed windows of this type, both plain and decorative, are found in traditional buildings in Turkey and the Arab lands. They are usually set at a high level, over unglazed windows that are sometimes covered by shutters and screens. This window consists of small pieces of glass of different colours arranged in patterns within a plaster framework. The inscription that forms the main element in the design is the shahadah, the Islamic declaration of faith. It reads, ‘There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God’.

Location: Islamic Middle East, room 42, case WE3, shelf EXP

View this object on the V&A website