ISBN: 9781904982661 UK Price: £45.00 US Price: $80.00 This beautifully illustrated volume provides a unique insight into a sophisticated historical technique which was employed to adorn private interiors in traditional Arab courtyard houses in Damascus. 'Ajami decoration is almost universal in the interior adornment of Damascene houses, and this study, done from the stylistic, historical – as well as the technical – points of view, has resulted in a unique and valuable document on the history of Damascus decoration since the 17th century. The incredibly beautiful interiors of these houses bear silent witness to a bygone and almost-forgotten era of urban life in the Near East–each one an impressive masterpiece of the artisan’s craft. Painted and gilded stone reliefs, tinted plaster and patterned paste work decoration, elaborately painted wood embellished with metal leaf, mother-of-pearl inlays, and mirrors were combined in ever-varying and beautiful ways. Luxurious carpets, cushions, mattresses, small tables and stands, and porcelain and metal objects d’art ensured that the reception rooms were also comfortable living spaces.