Silk; lampas; H. 38 1/4 in. (97.2 cm), W. 26 3/4 in. (67.9 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.460)
Designed with a chevron pattern as the main frame for the calligraphy, this lampas-woven textile depicts Qur'anic verses and the shahada of Islam: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” The striking red and white color combination allows the thuluth calligraphy to stand out, while incorporating unique elements such as the finial-shaped cartouches between chevrons. This cenotaph cover would have been used as a cover for a sanduka, or coffin-shaped stone, marking the burial place of an important personage, and the chevron layout recalls the design of the kiswa covers commissioned by Ottoman sultans and sent to Mecca every year to adorn the Ka'ba.