This intricately carved window screen or jali beautifully illustrates one of the great architectural achievements of the Mughal dynasty (1526-1756). Most likely from the Agra region of north India, this screen features a classic pointed arch bordered by open stars with arabesques in the upper corners enclosing small florets on one side with the word "Allah" (God) on the other.
It wasn't until Humayun's reign (1555) that large monolithic stone lattices such as this were routinely produced. While Mughal architecture owed much of its form and decoration to the Persian tradition, Indian builders had been master stone carvers centuries before the Islamic invasion and their extraordinary craftsmanship was a perfect match for the demanding geometric complexities of Islamic design. The style of this jali relates to those in the 1605-6 tomb of Amir Khusrau in Delhi and the early 17th century Suraj Bhanka Bagh at Sikandra.