What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Book cover with painted illustrations on both sides. Outside illustration depicts a nighttime scene in a Zenana, or harem. A man is shown embracing a woman on a cushion surrounded by attendants, musicians and dancers. Trays laden with serving ware and various fruits and candles appear throughout the scene on the carpets. An ornate floral band with a background in green and borders in black and gold frames the image. Inside illustration also depicts a scene in a Zenana, but in daytime. The scene is framed by concentric bands in black and red with gold. Book cover lacquered on board (?) or papier mâché (?).


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 19thC (early)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


Book cover. Court. Musicians and dancers. On lacquer.

Book cover. Court. Musicians and dancers. On lacquer.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RFM508

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help