The Mamluks developed a system of emblems or blazons to signify the role of courtiers serving under each sultan. This emblem dates to the reign of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbey (r. 1468–96) or of one of his successors, and is likely a fragment from an article of clothing or a piece of furniture. Numerous Venetian Renaissance paintings, including The Reception of the Venetian Ambassadors in Damascus, incorporate strikingly similar Mamluk emblems in their compositions.
[ Michel E. Abemayor, Frankfurt, until 1972; sold to MMA]
Atil, Esin. Renaissance of Islam : Art of the Mamluks. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981. no. 124.
Carboni, Stefano, ed. Venezia e l'Islam, 828–1797. Venice: Marsilio Editori, 2007. no. 49, pp. 91, 335-336, ill. p. 91 (color).
Carboni, Stefano, ed. Venice and the Islamic World, 828–1797. New York and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. no. 69, pp. 74-75, 320, ill. p. 75 (color).