The inscriptions are:
On top, twice: Qur'an, sura hud (xi), parts of v.88
In the roundels on the sides:
"God, Exalted be His Glory!"
"Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him!"
"'Umar, may God be pleased with him!"
"'Uthman, may God be pleased with him!"
"'Ali, may God be pleased with him!"
In the roundel above the sword :
"May the favour of The Mighty God be upon them all"
In the sword:
Qur'an, sura al-nisa (iv) parts of v.95 and all of v.96.
This textile belongs to a group of banners which seem to date from the early part of the 19th century and may indeed have been commissioned for a particular series of military campaigns, possibly even those waged against the Wahhabis in the first decade of the 19th century, led by Sultan Mahmud II. With their pious invocations, the striking image of the double tipped sword, the Dhu'l Faqar, which is said to have been taken as booty at the battle of Badr, their bold colours and gold thread, these banners roused the soldiers to battle and became potent emblems of power. They thus also became targets for capture by enemy troops.
The group falls into two broad groups, one with the Dhu'l Faqar in gold against a red ground, and the other with a series of inscriptions within medallions, typically on a green ground. The banners are based on 17th century battle flags, such as those which were captured at the Siege of Vienna in 1683, such as those in Karlsruhe (Petrasch, Ernst et al.: Die Karlsruhe Türkenbeute, Munich, 1991, nos.7-13, pp.71-76). Christie's example lacks the upper register of roundels found on most pieces in this group.
Münster Catalogue, 1983, Page 48f, Frankfurter Museum für Kunsthandwerk (sword)
Krakow, Panstwowe Zbiory Sztuki na Wawelu, Inventory No DEP514, No 17682 (sword)
Department of Ethnography Inventory No QI AS.211(sword)
Karlsruhe, 1991, No 7 (sword)
Published Spink & Sons, London, 5-20 December 1990, no 63 (medallions)
National Museum Kuwait, Inventory No LS27/1 (medallion)
BM Dept of Oriental Antiquities, Inventory No OA+1342 (medallion)