Spherical or near-spherical steel objects are known in a number of instances situated on the shafts of 'alams below the flaring standard. A example which is now separated from its original position is in the Tanavoli Collection (Allan, James and Gilmour, Brian: Persian Steel, The Tanavoli Collection, Oxford, 2000, no.E.3, p.266). Further examples in position below their relevant 'alams are depicted on pp.265 and 267.
The present example is remarkable for its size. Outsize 'alams are known from the Qajar period but very few if any appear to have survived from the Safavid Period. The sphere below the smaller 'alam no.E.1 in the Tanavoli collection however has very similar alternating oval panels and rectilinear cartouches filled with interlaced arabesques pierced through the steel body as are found here. That example is dated to the second half of the 17th century.