A Silk and Metal Thread Brocaded Calligraphic Panel from the Ka'ba in Mecca

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A Silk and Metal Thread Brocaded Calligraphic Panel from the Ka'ba in Mecca
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 1928-1936 AD

The black silk ground woven with an elegantly drawn overlaid naskh inscription panel in gilt thread, the dots and diacritics in granular gilt beading, the spandrels with a couched and laid gilt wire lattice, in a border of silver meandering leafy vine between plain gilt stripes, a few slight damages and repairs, backed
2ft.6½in. x 17ft.4in. (77.5 x 628cm.)

Lot Essay

The inscription states that "this kiswa was made in Mecca at the order of the guardian of the two sanctuaries (Mecca and Medina), his Majesty the King, the Imam 'Abd al-'Aziz b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Saud al-Faisal".

This therefore is the commissioning inscription from one of the few kiswas made in Mecca before the more recent group began to be woven there in 1956. Until 1923 all were made in Egypt and sent to Mecca. The kiswa was made in Mecca itself between 1928 and 1931, and again between 1933 and 1936, when it reverted to Egyptian manufacture. The missing year of 1932, is when it was commissioned to be made in Germany. Weavers were specially imported to Mecca from Egypt to perform the work.
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