A TIMURID EMBROIDERED COTTON TALISMANIC CAP
IRAN, 15TH CENTURY
Of simple rounded form, the top with a circle containing eleven lines of naskh within a frame of a similar band of inscription, in a broad border of diagonal panels of similar inscription between further similar stripes, all the inscriptions enclosed within decorative bands executed in light blue and ivory silk within silver-thread outlines, damages, outer borders fragmentary, mounted
8¼in. (21cm.) diam.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
The embroidery on the crown is from the Qur'an, the Throne Verse, Sura ii, al-baqara, vv. 255-256 and Qu'ran sura cxii, (al-ikhlas) repeated twice.
There appear not to be many published comparable Timurid examples. The Newberry collection of the Ashmolean Museum contains several brightly coloured Mamluk caps. One of these has couched metal threadwork similar to that on our cap and Italian running stitch quilting, dated to the late 13th- early 14th century, (Marianne Ellis, Embroideries and samplers from Islamic Egypt, Oxford, 2001, pp.92-93, nos. 64, 65). A number of talismanic shirts are also known, with verses from the Qur'an or other prayers on them, from throughout the Islamic world of the 16th century. This appears to be a hat of similar purpose, although here the inscriptions are stitched, a process that is considerably more laborious and difficult. In the shirts they are almost always written directly onto the cloth.