Large Persian Qajar period gold damascened steel 'Alam

£45,000

This wonderful ‘Alam—an Islamic processional standard—offers a superb demonstration of damascening, whereby one metal, in this case gold, is inlaid into another.

 

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Description

This superb Persian Qajar period ‘Alam is crafted from pierced steel damascened with gold. An ‘Alam is a standard used by the Shi’a community in processions marking the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who was killed at the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.

The ‘Alam is shaped like a drop, with an outer steel border encompassing an interior wrought from steel intricately pierced with arabesques, with Thuluth calligraphy highlighted with damascened gold. Two nestled interior drop steel bands are adorned with further damascened gold scrollwork, with the pierced section between the two featuring further gilt calligraphy. The outer inscription quotes Sura 96 (al-‘Alaq) of the Quran, verses 2 and 3, while the inner border reads ‘As salam aleikum, Abu Abdullah’.

The ’Alam is surmounted by an elaborate damascened crest, which is an extension of the two interior drop borders. The piece is raised on a metal support above a stepped plinth.

Details

Country of Origin
Persian
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
Period
19th Century
Style
Arabesque, Islamic, Persian interest
Material
Gold, Steel
Colour
Brown, Gold

Dimensions

Height
82 cm / 32.3 inches
Width
44 cm / 17.3 inches
Depth
10 cm / 3.9 inches

Reference:
16960

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