Masalik al-Absar

Name of text: Masalik al-Absar
Author of text: Al-Umari [ibn Fadlallah]
Date of text: c. 1340
Date of person in text: 1301-49
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The mosaic is made of gold glass on which has been applied thin glass.  The genre is called maqshur (that is to say, coated with gold). Polychrome mosaic is made of paste.  At that time it was made in great quantities for the Great Umayyad Mosque. Several boxes have been brought together but they were damaged in the fire in 1339.  They had previously decorated part of the side of the mihrab of the Tunguz mosque in Damascus.

However, one cannot completely copy those made in the ancient days in terms of transparency of colour and beauty.  The difference between the old and the new, is that in the old the cubes are uniform, and of the same dimensions, whereas the new are of different sizes.  Thus one can recognise the old and the new.

Mosaic date in text:
Tesserae silver mentioned in text?
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? Yes
Colour descriptions in text: coloured

Al-Umari, Masalik al-Absar, vol.1 p. 193, quoted in de Lorey, Eustache, ‘Les Mosaiques de la Mosquée des Omayyades a Damas’, in Eustache de Lorey and Marguerite Gautier van Berchem, Monuments et Mémoires (Paris: Foundation Eugene Piot, 1929), p. 135


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