Circular ornament

The eight-lobed medallion with circular openings between the lobes id decorated with a concentric scroll bearing lotus blossoms and leaves. Placed over the scroll is the basmala “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,” the phrase that appears at the beginning of each chapter of the Qur’an. The inscriptions and the band framing the medallion are overlaid with gold.

The holes around the plaque must have been used to affix the plaque with nails to an architectural element or furniture. The basmala is a popular pious evocation, and this plaque could have been used both in religious and secular context.

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 16th-17th century
Medium
Steel overlaid with gold
Dimensions
H x W x D: 4.7 x 4.7 cm (1 7/8 x 1 7/8 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1940.9
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Jewelry and Ornament, Metalwork
Type

Ornament

Keywords
Iran, Islam, lotus, piercing, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

The eight-lobed medallion with circular openings between the lobes id decorated with a concentric scroll bearing lotus blossoms and leaves. Placed over the scroll is the basmala "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful," the phrase that appears at the beginning of each chapter of the Qur'an. The inscriptions and the band framing the medallion are overlaid with gold.

The holes around the plaque must have been used to affix the plaque with nails to an architectural element or furniture. The basmala is a popular pious evocation, and this plaque could have been used both in religious and secular context.

Inscription(s)

Basmala inscription in naskhi script, "In the name of God, The Compassionate, the Merciful."

Label

This ornament is inscribed with the basmala (pious invocation): "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate."

Published References
  • unknown article. vol. 58, issue 1. Cover.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 3: p. 2514f, vol. 6: pl. 1390H.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 16.
  • Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 54, pp. 105, 147.
  • Islamic Art in the Kuwait National Museum: The al-Sabah Collection. London. p. 136.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 30, pp. 198-199.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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