THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS
THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS
THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS
3 More
THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS
6 More
PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF SAM JOSEFOWITZ
THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS

DECCAN, CENTRAL INDIA, 17TH CENTURY

Details
THREE BRASS STANDARD ('ALAM) HEADS
DECCAN, CENTRAL INDIA, 17TH CENTURY
Comprising three brass standard ('alam) heads, all with a drop-shaped central panels, the two larger with pierced inscription of Qur'an LXI, sura al-saff, vv. 13, surrounded by engraved roundels containing names of God, topped by a roundel containing the names 'Allah, Muhammad, 'Ali', with surrounding bands with dragon heads, the panel extending through oval plaque to four palm fronds, each with engraved inscriptions of Shi'a Imams and pierced inscriptions on the heads containing the names 'Allah, Muhammad, 'Ali', one additionally containing the name 'Qasim', possibly the name of the maker, the smaller with pierced inscription of the names 'Allah, Muhammad, 'Ali', with surrounding band with dragon heads, the panel topped with five plain palm fronds, all three standard heads rubbed, some finials missing
The two larger 30 ¾ x 19 ¾in. (78 x 50cm.), the smaller 29 ½ x 11in. (75 x 28cm.)

Brought to you by

Emilie Frontera
Emilie Frontera Senior Sale Coordinator

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay


The ‘alam, or processional standard, plays a central role in the Shi’i commemoration of the death of Imam Husayn on the day of ‘Ashura. Although the designs of ‘alams from the Deccan in many ways follow those of Safavid Iran, particularly in their use of a pierced metal, the use of brass is a notable departure from the pierced steel that characterizes Safavid standards. For an overview of the history of the 'alam in Shi'i commemorative processions, see James W. Allan, The Art and Architecture of Twelver Shi'ism: Iraq, Iran and the Indian Sub-Continent, London, 2012, especially pp. 121-138.

The name ‘Qasim’ added to one of the roundels may be that of the maker, a known practice on processional standards. See for example a standard sold in these Rooms on 20 April 1999, lot 556.

More from Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Rugs and Carpets

View All
View All