The inscriptions on this textile include:
In the large upper band: an Arabic inscription proclaiming the unity of God and Muhammad as his dearest, rabbi allah wa la sawahu muhammad habib allah, 'God is my Lord, and there is none but him, Muhammad is His Dear One'.
In the central large band: a blessing on Muhammad, al-salwa wa'l-salam 'alayka ya rasul allah, 'Peace and blessing be upon you O Prophet of God'.
In the third large band is a repeat of the inscription in the first.
In the upper thin band: a call on God to bless all the Prophets.
In the thin band in the middle: a call on God to bless the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs
In the third thin band is a repeat of the inscription in the first.
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 King Faisal Foundation in 1985 (Unity of Islam, exhibition catalogue, London, 1985, pp.184-85); also Y. Petsopoulous, (ed.): Tulips, Arabesques and Turbans, Decorative Arts from the Ottoman Empire, London 1982, pl.158.
Two larger similar weavings were sold in these Rooms 26 April 2006, lot 51A, and 23 October 2007, lot 34.