Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Field Ensign

Date:
ca. 1500–1511
Culture:
Egyptian or Syrian
Medium:
Steel, iron
Dimensions:
L. 20 1/4 in. (51.5 cm); W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm); Wt. 1 lb. 12 oz. (802.0 g)
Classification:
Shafted Weapons
Credit Line:
Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935
Accession Number:
36.25.1961
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379
Ensigns like this one often served as finials for standards, which were carried like flags to identify army units on the battlefield and in military reviews before the sultan. This ensign bears a Koranic inscription and the name of a Syrian emir, Sayfī al-Dīn Tarabāy, who is recorded to have commissioned a mausoleum in Cairo in 1503–4.
This is probably one of the many ensigns that were taken as booty by the Ottomans when they defeated the Mamluks in 1517.
George Cameron Stone, New York (until d. 1935; his bequest to MMA).
Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," May 15, 1981–May 29, 1983, no. 43.

Detroit. The Detroit Institute of Arts. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," May 15, 1981–May 29, 1983, no. 43.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," May 15, 1981–May 29, 1983, no. 43.

Washington. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," May 15–July 19, 1981, no. 43.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982, no. 43.

Cincinnati. Cincinnati Art Museum. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," February 11–April 4, 1982, no. 43.

Hartford. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," April 9–May 29, 1983, no. 43.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Islamic Art. "Bright Side of Battle," January 17–September 1, 1985.

Mayer, Leo Ary. "Saracenic Arms and Armor." Ars Islamica 10 (1943). p. 10, n. 90, fig. 12.

Mayer, L. A. Mamluk Costume: A Survey. Geneva: A. Kundig, 1952. p. 46, n. 9.

Atil, Esin. Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981. p. 116, no. 43, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Stuart Cary Welch. The Islamic World. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 61, no. 44, ill.

Alexander, David, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Will Kwiatkowski. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. pp. 249–50, no. 104, ill.



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