Textile: H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
W. 14 in. (35.6 cm)
Mount: H. 26 3/8 in. (67 cm)
W. 20 in. (50.8 cm)
D. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1946
Not on view
Influenced by Chinese and Mongol prototypes, this fragment shows a repeating pattern of an ogival vine scroll that undulates around Chinese-style lotus blossoms enclosing a naskh inscription. The inscription reads "The Sultan, the King," in mirror image, a reference to an unnamed Mamluk sultan. The combination of these elements—the Eastern origin of the design, an inscription invoking the ruling elite, and the sumptuousness of the fabric— were the most common characteristics of luxury textiles of the period, and the visual manifestation of the long-lasting trade relations between China and the eastern Mediterranean.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in naskhi script, repeated within medallions, in mirror image:
The sultan, the king
Marking: See link panel.
[ Giorgio Sangiorgi, Rome, until 1946; to Loewi]; [ Adolph Loewi, Los Angeles, 1946; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part II: Vegetal Patterns," September 10, 1998–January 10, 1999.
Mackie, Louise W. "Toward an Understanding of Mamluk Silks: National and International Considerations." Muqarnas vol. 2 (1984). p. 136, ill. pl. 15 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 115, pp. 166-167, ill. p. 167 (color).