Calligraphic Plaque

Object Name: Plaque

Date: probably late 17th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Steel; forged and pierced

Dimensions: H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)
W. 15 in. (38.1 cm)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.14


This cartouche‑shaped plaque was created from a single sheet of solid steel, whose wide, flat border encloses a hemistich referring to Fatima and her sons. The text is part of a versification of the names of the chahardah ma'sum, or the fourteen infallible ones (the Prophet, Fatima, and the twelve imams). Such plaques, which served both a decorative and invocative function, were often set in the doors of shrines, mosques, and theological schools.