Field Ensign

Date: ca. 1500–1511

Culture: Egyptian or Syrian

Medium: Steel, iron

Dimensions: L. 20 1/4 in. (51.5 cm); W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm); Wt. 1 lb. 12 oz. (802.0 g)

Classification: Shafted Weapons

Credit Line: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935

Accession Number: 36.25.1961


Ensigns like this one often served as finials for standards, which were carried like flags to identify army units on the battlefield and in military reviews before the sultan. This ensign bears a Koranic inscription and the name of a Syrian emir, Sayfī al-Dīn Tarabāy, who is recorded to have commissioned a mausoleum in Cairo in 1503–4.
This is probably one of the many ensigns that were taken as booty by the Ottomans when they defeated the Mamluks in 1517.