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A SILK COVERING FROM THE TOMB OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
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A SILK COVERING FROM THE TOMB OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD

OTTOMAN TURKEY, 16TH-17TH CENTURY

Details
A SILK COVERING FROM THE TOMB OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
OTTOMAN TURKEY, 16TH-17TH CENTURY
Of rectangular shape and comprising three strips, the olive green ground divided by horizontal chevrons into a series of alternating major and minor bands of inscriptions in vigourous muhaqqaq, backed with glue onto green cloth, worn and faded in places
8ft 8in. x 6ft 10in. (265 x 210cm.)
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Lot Essay

The inscriptions read as follows.
Top narrow band:
"May Allah be pleased with Abu Bakr and 'Umar and 'Uthman and 'Ali and with all the other Companions [of the Prophet]".

Top broad band:
"Allah there is none but He-Muhammad".

Second narrow band:
"O Allah, bless and give peace to their nobilities all the prophets and emissaries".
Second broad band:
"Blessing and peace be upon you, O Prophet of Allah."

The decoration on this woven silk textile follows the standard form of 17th century Ottoman tomb covers, with major and minor epigraphic bands within chevrons. However, all of the major inscriptions are blessings on the Prophet Muhammad, and not anyone else, suggesting very strongly that this piece is from the covering of the Tomb of the Prophet Himself in Al-Madina.

A very similar piece was exhibited in the 1985 exhibition Unity of Islam at the King Faisal Foundation, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue of the same name, London, 1985, pp.184-85, and in Petsopoulous, Y. (Ed.): Tulips, Arabesques and Turbans, Decorative Arts from the Ottoman Empire, London 1982, pl.158.
The Unity of Islam catalogue also mentions a panel of identical design in the Museé Historique des Tissus, Lyon, published in Anthony Welch: Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World, Asia Society, 1979, no.34.
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