Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Textile with Kufic Inscription

Object Name:
Attributed to Egypt
Linen, silk; plain weave, tapestry weave
Textile: L. 15 in. (38.1 cm) W. 23 7/8in. (60.6cm) Mount: L. 20 in. (50.8 cm) W. 20 1/4 in. (51.4 cm) D. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1931
Accession Number:
Not on view
Egypt was home to a number of state‑run textile factories sponsored by the Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad until about 969. These factories produced a cloth known as tiraz—a term that came to refer both to garments with inscriptions and to the workshops that manufactured them. This textile was woven for the Abbasid caliph al‑Muti', whose rule in Baghdad (946–74) coincided with the Buyid conquest of the city. The monumental scale of the calligraphy and its location near the edge of this fragment indicate that it originally belonged to a large textile, perhaps a shawl.
Inscription: The surviving Arabic inscription in Kufic reads: "[...] the Merciful [...] al-Fadl al-Muti'li[llah]"

Marking: See link panel.
George D. Pratt, New York (until 1931; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tiraz: Inscribed Textiles from Islamic Workshops," December 15, 1992–March 14, 1993, no. 14.

Walker, Daniel S., and Aimee Froom. "Exhibition Notebook." In Tiraz: Inscribed Textiles from Islamic Workshops. New York, NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. no. 14, pp. 24-25.

Carboni, Stefano. "The Arts of the Fatimid Period at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Ismaili (2008). p. 4, ill. fig. 2 (color).

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