Finial with Inscription "Ya Khafar" ("Oh, Protector!")

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462

Finials such as this example likely came from the tops of standards ('alams) carried in Shi'i processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the battle of Karbala. The 'alams signify the battle standards carried by Husain and his band of supporters. These finials are datable to the seventeenth century, a period in which the Shi'i religious orthodoxy was particularly pronounced in Iran.

Finial with  Inscription "Ya Khafar" ("Oh, Protector!"), Steel; inlaid with gold on front and silver foil overlay on reverse

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