A brief introduction to the history of Arabic or Islamic geometry is set out on the next page together with methods by which those geometries can be readily constructed using the traditional means of a straight edge and a pair of compasses.
These first four illustrations are of Islamic geometric patterns that have been executed on different materials, respectively silver, stone, leather and glazed mosaic, and are commonly considered representative of Islamic design.
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However, the example is not from Arabia but was made in France and is one of a pair of silver door panels, shown above on its side.
Incidentally, the other panel of the pair, although having the same basic geometric construction, has different detailing as is illustrated here.
While not demonstrating the wide variety of geometric treatments to be found in Islamic or Arab geometries, they are here to introduce something of the design character and materials that were used in decoration.
But having said that, I believe it would be useful to begin this page with a note on the understanding we in the West have of Arabic or, perhaps more accurately, Islamic geometrical design as it is a wide field of study and there are many misconceptions about its origins, interpretation and character.
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Geometry is one of the main characteristics that distinguish Islamic artistic designs.
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Here to the side is the top of a fifteenth century wooden Egyptian that has been articulated with pendentives, a form of cantilever that is commonly used in masonry constructions, though here is more decorative than structural due to the inherent character of timber which has both compressive and tensile qualities which stone lacks.