Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment from a Talismanic Scroll

Object Name:
Scroll fragment
11th–12th century
Made in Egypt
Ink on paper; printed
Ht. 7 1/2 in. (16.6 cm) W. 6 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Richard Ettinghausen, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
Only the upper left corner of this page has survived. The text, which includes a passage reading "the heart of the one who wears it," together with the evidence of folds on the paper point to its original use as a talisman to be carried in an amulet box that was worn as a pendant. Both the foliated Kufic inscription in black ink and the cursive calligraphy in red ink are block printed.
Inscription: (across top), in foliated kufic, (in the name of God/ the Merciful, the Compassionate); (in middle of page, later addition), in naskh in red ink, (Help from God and near Victory), Sura 61, verse 13; (bottom left square, in corners of square), in naskh, (Sufficient - healing - Fulfilling - (?)), the four divine names; (bottom left square, outer circular band), in naskh, (0 living...the eternity of His kingdom and His duration...the heart of the one who wears it); (inner circular band), in naskh, (He knows everything and is powerful and capable [to do] everything);

(bottom right rectangle), seven lines in naskh, ( useful, when God most High willeth...cold and migrane and blows...the children and for female demons and for love and acceptance...the kings and rulers and jusges...the enobled...daily bread and for hilt of the sword and ...horses and journey, day and night...and for annihilation of witchcraft)

(Translations of inscriptions by Annemarie Schimmel, Sept. 1985)
Richard Ettinghausen, Princeton, NJ (until 1975; gifted to MMA)
Binghamton University Art Museum, State University of New York at Binghamton. "Islam and the Medieval West," April 6, 1975–June 4, 1975, no. 15b.

Ferber, Stanley. "a Loan Exhibition at the University Art Gallery April 6–May 4, 1975." In Islam and the Medieval West. Binghamton, 1975. no. 15b.

Schaefer, Karl R. "Medieval Arabic Block Printed Amulets in American and European Libraries and Museums.." Enigmatic Charms, Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section one, Near and Middle East, vol. 82 (2006). pp. 191-193, ill. pl. 46.

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