Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Finial with Arabic Inscription"Ya, Da'im" ("Oh, Everlasting!")

Object Name:
Finial
Date:
17th century
Geography:
Attributed to probably Iran
Medium:
Steel; inlaid with gold on front and silver foil overlay on reverse
Dimensions:
H. (with brackets) 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm) H. (w/o brackets) 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm) Gr. W. 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm) W. (at bottom) 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Gift of Nasser D. Khalili, in honor of his son, Daniel Jonathan Khalili, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.75
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
Finials such as this example likely came from the tops of standards ('alams) carried in Shi'i processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the battle of Karbala. The 'alams signify the battle standards carried by Husain and his band of supporters. These finials are datable to the seventeenth century, a period in which the Shi'i religious orthodoxy was particularly pronounced in Iran.
Inscription: Arabic; transliteration: "Ya da'im"; translation: "Oh, Everlasting" (one of the ninety-nine most beautiful names of God).
Nasser D. Khalili, London (until 1982; gifted to MMA)
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