Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Talismanic Shirt

Object Name:
15th–early 16th century
Attributed to Northern India or Deccan
Cotton, ink, gold; plain weave, painted
Textile: L. 25 in. (63.5 cm) W. 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm) Mount: L. 25 in. (63.5 cm) W. 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 1998
Accession Number:
Not on view
This talismanic shirt was believed to be imbued with protective powers and may have been meant to be worn under armor in battle. Its surface is decorated with painted squares, medallions, and lappet-shaped sections with the entire Qur'an written inside; these areas are bordered by the ninety-nine names of God written in gold against an orange background. A panel at the center of the reverse contains a proclamation in gold script stating, "God is the Merciful, the Compassionate."
Private collection, England; [ Terence McInerney, New York, until 1998; sold to MMA]
Santa Fe, NM. Museum of International Folk Art. "Spirit of the Word," 2006, no catalogue.

Carboni, Stefano, Daniel Walker, and J. Kenneth Moore. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1997–1998; Islam." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 56, no. 2 (1997–1998). p. 12, ill. (color).

Alexander, David G., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Islamic Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. p. 14, ill. fig. 15 (color).

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