Plain weave with inwoven tapestry weave: linen, silk, and gold filé
Overall: 62.3 x 54.6 cm (24 1/2 x 21 1/2 in.)
Gift of The Textile Arts Club to commemorate its 30th Anniversary 1965.313
Woven with consummate skill, this very fine linen fabric enriched with silk and gold thread displays small birds amid interlacing bands flanked by Arabic inscriptions. It represents the final artistic and technical height of imperial textiles called tiraz, a Persian word meaning embroidery or decorative work. Here, tiraz refers to textiles with Arabic inscriptions; it can also identify court workshops and their production. The historical Arabic inscription, written in angular Kufic script with decorative letter bowls and palmette scrolls between shafts, reads: “proximate victory to the servant of God and his close friend Ma‘add Abū Tamīm, the imam Ahmad [Abū] al-Qāsim al-Musta‘lī bi-Allāh and his so[ns]” (upper line), and “Commander of the believers bin [a] l-Qāsim Shā[han] shah . . . the believers . . . the Muslims[?] and the believers[?]” (lower line).
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