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Ceremonial Banner

Isma'il Kashani

Object Name:
Banner
Date:
dated A.H. 1107/A.D. 1695–96
Geography:
Iran, probably Kashan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas
Dimensions:
Textile: L. 70 1/2 in. (179.1 cm) W. 35 in. (88.9 cm) Mount: L. 73 3/4 in. (187.3 cm) W. 42 1/2 in. (108 cm) D. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm) Wt. 53 lbs. (24 kg)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
38.167
  • Description

    The inscriptions on this rare Persian ceremonial banner invoke divine protection and assistance. The lobed medallions enclose quotations from the Qur'an, lauding God as "the best Protector" and "Opener of Doors." Banners such as this were carried into battle, or borne by the faithful in religious processions. They appear in illustrated manuscripts such as the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp and are described by travelers to Iran in the seventeenth century. The name of the maker, Isma'il Kashani, is inscribed in the center of the blue cartouche. The details of the textile indicate careful planning, beautiful execution, and luxury with no expense spared.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscriptions in Arabic and Persian in thuluth and nasta‘liq scripts (from top to bottom):
    Top right cartouche: (Qur’an, 37:172–73)

    Top left cartouche, in Arabic:
    وکفی بالله و کیلاً
    And, God suffices for a Guardian

    Large central cartouche: (Qur’an 110 and the date 1107)

    Small yellow cartouche, in Arabic:
    یا مفتح الابواب
    O, Opener of Doors!

    Central and outer portions, respectively, of two-color cartouche, in Arabic:
    عمل العبد اسمعیل کاشانی
    Work of the servant Isma‘il Kashani

    And in Persian:
    رایت فتح آید کردند تاریخ شروع
    رایت نصر من الله بهر إتمامش علم ١١٠٧
    The banner of triumph, the date of commencement [shuru‘] of work
    The banner of God-given victory, the completion of the flag (‘alam) 1107
    Bottom cartouche, in Arabic:
    یا رفیع الدرجات
    O, Sublime of Rank!

    Marking: See link panel.

  • Provenance

    [ E. Beghian, by 1931–38; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
449535:6

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