This questionnaire lists aspects of muqarnas design that I have found useful to examine for the vaults considered in this study. It can easily be extended, leading perhaps to a typology of muqarnases. In constructing it I considered, among others, the portals of the Jâmi` al-Taubah, of 629–32/1231–35, the Bîmâristân al-Qaymarî, of 654/1256, and the Madrasah al-Zahirîyah, of 676/1277–78.1
How deep is the muqarnas vault compared to its width?
Does the muqarnas spring square or from corner brackets, and does it rest on a cornice?
How are the back corners handled?
How many tiers are there? Are the cells the same height in the various tiers? the same depth?
What is the geometry as seen from beneath? Does it change (e.g., from eight radial axes, or some multiple, to ten or twelve)?2
Are there rolled square brackets?
Are there branched brackets?
Are there gored conches?
Are the corners developed into recessed domelets, and if so how many of them? Are there “flues”, or vertical sequences of recessed cells (see the Madrasah al-Sâhibah)?
Is the top of the vault a gored semidome or a smooth semidome decorated with geometric ornament?
Does the exterior arch profile reflect the profile of the muqarnas or is it a smooth pointed arch? Is it enclosed within another arch or frame?
Is there a decorative archivolt?
1. For a broader typology of muqarnases see Allen, Five Essays, pp. 85–90.
2. While some of his conclusions are dubious, Michel Écochard's Filiation de monuments grecs, byzantins et islamiques: une question de géométrie, illustrates admirably the relations of various muqarnas geometries.