Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Calligraphic Galleon

'Abd al-Qadir Hisari
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
dated A.H. 1180/ A.D. 1766–67
Ink and gold on paper
H. 19 in. (48.3 cm) W. 17 in. (43.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Rogers Fund, 2003
Accession Number:
Not on view
The hull of this sailing ship comprises the names of the Seven Sleepers and their dog. The tale of the Seven Sleepers, found in pre-Islamic Christian sources, concerns a group of men who sleep for centuries within a cave, protected by God from religious persecution. Both hadith (sayings of the Prophet), and tafsir (commentaries on the Qur'an) suggest that these verses from the Qur'an have protective qualities.
Signature: 'Abd al-Qadir Hisari

Inscription: Inscription in at upper-left corner:
كتبه الفقيرالمذنب عبد القادر الحصاري في السا کین(?) اناطولى سنة ١١٨٠
Written by the poor sinner ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Hisari living in [?] Anatolia [in the] year A.H. 1180 [A.D. 1766 – 67]

Inscription in gold, forming the hull and deck of the ship, the names of the Seven Sleepers along with their dog Qitmir;
on the stern within a gold disk, the tughra of the Ottoman sultan

Inscription below the tughra:
السلطان بن السلطان السلطان مصطفى خان بن السلطان احمد خان
The Sultan, son of the Sultan, the Sultan Mustafa [III] Khan, son of the Sultan Ahmad [III] Khan

Inscribed in Arabic on the flagpole: [Qur’an 2:255 (the “Throne Verse”)]

Inscription in Ottoman Turkish on the waves of the sea, a prose text relating to navigation and the sea; in larger script,
framing the image, poetic verses in Ottoman Turkish
Inscription in Arabic in smaller script, framing the image:
اللهم صل علی سیدنا محمد و علی آل محمد سید الفائزین
May God bless our Master Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad, Master of the Victors
[ Ciancimino & Co, London, until ca. 1965; sold to Galloway]; [ Francesca Galloway, London, ca. 1965–2003; sold to MMA]
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. 206, pp. 296-297, ill. p. 297 (color).

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