Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Dedicatory Inscription from a Mosque

Object Name:
dated A.H. 905/ A.D. 1500
India, Bengal
Gabbro; carved
H. 16 1/8 (41 cm) W. 45 5/16 (115.1 cm) D. 2 3/4in. (7 cm) Wt. 194 lbs. (88 kg)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Nelson Doubleday and Bequest of Charles R. Gerth, by exchange, 1981
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 450
This dedicatory inscription in "tughra" script, dated A.H. 905/A.D. 1500, is from a mosque in western Bengal built for Prince Daniyal, a son of Sultan Husayn Shah. The inscription is an outstanding example of Indo-Muslim epigraphy: the regular pattern in which the vertical letters are arranged and the skillfully inserted, bowlike words that structure the pattern are typical of Muslim calligraphy in medieval Bengal and later in the Deccan
Inscription: Inscribed in Arabic in Bengali tughra-style script:
قال النبي صلی الله علیه وسلم
من بنی مسجداً لله بنی الله له
قصراً مثله في الجنة في عهد السلطان علاء و الدنیا و الدین
ابو المظفر حسین شاه السلطان خلد الله ملکه وسلطانه
بنی هذا المسجد الجامع شاهزاده دانیال دام عزه في العشر من ذي الحجة
سنة خمس و تسعمائة
The Prophet — God’s blessings and peace be upon him — said:
“He who builds a mosque for God, God builds a palace the like of it in
paradise.” In the reign of the Sultan ‘Ala’ al-Dunya wa’l din Abu‘l-Muzaffar
Husain Shah al-Sultan, may God perpetuate his dominion and sovereignty.
Shahzada Daniyal, may his glory endure, built this congregational mosque on
the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijja in the year A.H. 905 [July 7, 1500]
possibly Thomas Hope of Deepdene, England; [ David Drey, London, before 1962; sold to Hodgkin]; Howard Hodgkin, London (from before 1962–81); [ Terence McInerney Fine Arts Ltd., New York, 1981; sold to MMA]
Swietochowski, Marie, Stuart Cary Welch, and Annemarie Schimmel. "Notable Acquisitions." The Metropolitan Museum of Art vol. 39 (1982). pp. 13-14, ill. (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. "Art and Culture 1300–1900." In India!. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985. no. 74, pp. 129-130, ill. p. 129 (b/w).

Levenson, Jay A., ed. Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration. New Haven and London: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1991. no. 354, pp. 494-495, ill. p. 494 (color).

Levenson, Jay A., ed. Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration. New Haven and London: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1991. no. 354, pp. 494-495, ill. p. 494 (color).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 328-329, ill. fig. 38 (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. 240, pp. 339, 344-345, ill. p. 344 (color).

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