Masālik al-abṣār fī mamālik al-amṣār

Name of text: Masālik al-abṣār fī mamālik al-amṣār
Author of text: al-Umari
Date of text: c. 1340
Date of person in text: 1301-49
Name of structure in text: Mosque of Amir Tankiz al-Nasiri
Type of structure in text: Mosque
Date of structure in text 1317-18
Century of structure 1: 14 AD
Century of structure 2:
Country in text: Syria
Region in text:
City in text: Damascus
Specific place of mosaic in text: Mihrab. Glass mosaic on qibla wall.
Description of mosaic in text: See below
Mosaic date in text: 14 AD
Tesserae silver mentioned in text?
Tesserae gold mentioned in text?
Colour descriptions in text:

Al-Umari, Mas?lik al-ab??r f? mam?lik al-am??r193,quoted in Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture, vol. 1, p. 237.

Kenney, Ellen, ‘Mixed Metaphors: Iconography and Medium in Mamluk Glass Mosaic Decoration’, Artibus Asiae, 66.2 (2006), 175-200, pp. 180-81


Only the portals of the building remain after it was destroyed in 1950 but there was a mosaic in the hood of the mihrab.  Photos show a narrow guilloche design along the base, above which rises a goblet with platform foot, ringed stem and fluted body.  From it sprouts a stalk culminating in a bud – teardrop shaped outline surrounding a fleur-de-lis with circular mother-of-pearl inset in centre.  Central stalk is flanked by swirling sprigs of acanthus, each with a bracelet of mother-of-pearl on its branches.  These motifs outlined by black and a light shade.  Background was gold. 

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