Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Calligraphic Galleon

'Abd al-Qadir Hisari
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
dated A.H. 1180/ A.D. 1766–67
Made in Turkey
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]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rumi," October 15, 2007–March 5, 2008, no catalogue.

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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