Guest Contributions

‘Pattern in Islamic Art’ is pleased to announce a new section dedicated to material on the Islamic decorative arts contributed by various fellow-enthusiasts. These include photographs and texts relating to the Paigah Tombs, Hyderabad, India sent in by Aziza Iqbal; Vida Amani’s images and notes on the Sheikh Safi-Eddin Ardebili Complex, Ardabil ; Gini Wade’s recent photos of the Monuments of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbegistan. These are joined by Harry Love’s pictures of the remote Palace at Telouet Kasbah in Morocco. Needless to say, we are delighted to be able to present these less familiar examples of the genius of Islamic decorative art to our discerning visitors.

Sheik Safi al-Eddin Ardebili Complex

This ancient collection, entitled the Tomb of Sheik Safi al-Eddin Ardebili, is located in Iran, in the City of Ardabil. A significant number of Safavid dynasties and Kings, including Sheik Safi al-Eddin Ardebili himself, have been buried in this area - Vida Amani

Paigah Tombs, Hyderabad, Geometry Studies

This 150 year old necropolis belongs to the Paigah family. The Paigah’s were influential aristocrats during the rule of the Nizams of Hyderabad from the 18th to the 20th century, located in Deccan India - Aziza Iqbal

Telouet Kasbah, Morocco

Telouet Kasbah is a fortified castle occupying a strategic position in the High Atlas along the former route of the caravans from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. It was built by a once wealthy and famous Berber family, the El Glaoui. Its construction began in 1860, took 5 years and is said to have involved some 300 craftsmen brought in from many parts of Morocco, including Fez. But after Moroccan independence in 1955 the head of the family Thami El Glaoui fell from power and the Kasbah was abandoned. Thankfully, parts of the interior, including the marvelous cut-ceramic panels (zellige), stucco and cedar-wood ceilings, have recently been restored to their former glory - Harry Love


These images, from Bukhara, Khiva, Samarkand and Tashkent are an addition to the existing collection in the Wade Photo-Archive – but they are far more recent. The earlier photos were taken when Uzbegistan was still part of the Soviet Union. Since then, largely through the efforts of the Uzbeg authorities, the Islamic Monuments (dating from as early as the 9th , right through to the 20th century), have been cleaned, restored and made far more accessible. As may be seen, these towns are rightfully described as the ‘Pearls of Uzbegistan’, the monuments themselves a treasure trove of pattern and design - Gini Wade