Banner

Date: dated A.H. 1235/ A.D. 1819–20

Geography: Turkey, probably Istanbul

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas, brocaded

Dimensions: Textile: L. 115 3/4 in. (294 cm)
W. 85 1/2 in. (217.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1976

Accession Number: 1976.312

Description

Inscribed with the names of God, the Prophet Muhammad and the first four leaders of the Muslim community, and bordered by Qur'anic verses, this silk sanjak (shield-shaped banner) displays an image of a two-bladed sword with a dragon-headed hilt. Referred to as Dhu'l Fiqar and associated with military victory, this sword is said to have belonged to 'Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet. While Ottoman banners similar to this one were used as military insignia from the 15th century onward, this example bears an early 19th century date, and may have been borne instead by the faithful during pilgrimage to Mecca.

Related