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A VERY LARGE SAFAVID PIERCED STEEL PROCESSIONAL STANDARD ('ALAM)
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A VERY LARGE SAFAVID PIERCED STEEL PROCESSIONAL STANDARD ('ALAM)

PROBABLY ISFAHAN, CENTRAL IRAN, DATED AH 1068/1657-8 AD

Details
A VERY LARGE SAFAVID PIERCED STEEL PROCESSIONAL STANDARD ('ALAM)
PROBABLY ISFAHAN, CENTRAL IRAN, DATED AH 1068/1657-8 AD
Comprising a large lower-drop shaped panel surmounted by another similar cusped panel, within raised steel ribs, the outline punctuated by regular dragon-head terminals, on vertical shaft, the lower panel with central drop-shaped pierced steel naskh inscription within a border of cusped oval cartouches containing further inscriptions against a plain ground, in an outer border of continuous graduated interlaced arabesques, the upper panel with similar central naskh pierced inscription within a border of cartouches, outer rib engraved with meandering rope-motif, the drop-shaped upper terminal of the shaft engraved on each side with the signature and date, slight overall corrosion, very slight damages, wooden stand
68in. (172.5cm.) high
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

The inscriptions include:
On the top cartouche: Qur'an, sura al-saff (lxi), parts of v.13.
In the cartouche below: the basmala.
In the small cartouches round the main cartouche: nada 'Ali quatrain.
In the central cartouche in Persian (suggested partial reading):
" the 'alam is like a Sun, [One] of the devoted servants of king of the religion of Haydar (i.e. 'Ali) is Haydar"


Haydar must refer to the patron. A Haydar Bayg ishik aqasi bashi 'The grand master of ceremony' is reported by Muhammad Tahir Qazvini ('abbasnama, ed. By I. Dehgan, Arak, 1329, pp. 55-6) who was removed from his post of being in charge of the Holy Shrine [in Qom] (events between the years 1052-5/1642-56), and he chose to live in Qom.
If however the name is interpreted as Ibn Haydar, it would not be Haydar Bayg.
The lower cartouches:
On one side : A prayer and the date 'the year 1068/(1657-8)'.
On the other side : 'The work of Haji Arda Bili (sic.) 1068/(1657-8)'

An 'alam in the Tanavoli Collection (Allan, J and Gilmour, B: Persian Steel, The Tanavoli Collection, Oxford, 2002, no.E.4, p. 271) is signed as "The work of Haji Muhammad 'Ali Arda Bili", who is likely to be the same maker as the above. The similarity of the decoration of the two, particularly the interlaced arabesques which comprise the outer band, make this certain.
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