Arabic and Persian Inscriptions on Objects
It is decorated with verses from Holy Quran and figurative work. The outer body of this kashkul has bold inscriptions arranged in a horizontal band which is magnificently carved with stylized central medallion pattern. There is a well executed floral creeper band around the written portion.
The entire pattern is carved in low relief by etching and stands out beautifully on the dark background.
The top portion of the box illustrates eight-pointed star within cartouches, with inscriptions around the points. Similar design, but in half, is on both sides and all three star buta’s are surmounted with narrow border of geometric pattern. The inner portion of the box has intricate wood carving.
Such composition has been extensively used for decorating the monuments of Deccan and North India.
The tunic is fully inscribed with Quranic verses, which are handwritten. They are written within and around circles and squares of different size and style, in red and black colour. Many small squares are composed within big squares. The row of small circles around the neck line is elegant and beautiful.
It illustrates ogee arches pattern worked in ganga-jumna technique (gold and silver thread) all over the field. The inscription has been created in silver metal thread, while ogee arch pattern in leaf style has been created with zari thread.
Such garments were perhaps specially commissioned for ritualistic or religious purposes.
This enchanting carnelian ring from North India has beautifully executed calligraphy on it. It is a ta'weez or amulet worn for protection against bad luck.
On it is inscribed name of Qayam Jang Bahadur Khan, numerous numbers and some holy names of God. Some of the names are Salam (salvation, peace), Munἰm (faithful, protector), Malik (lord, master) and Raqib (a guardian).
This amulet is made of one carnelian stone surrounded by tiny blue stone beads set in silver. The carnelian bears the inscription in which various names of almighty God has been mentioned. The names include Ya Hafiz (O guardian, commander, lord, god), Ya Malik (O lord), Ya Kabir, Ya Qavi (O great power), Ya Aziz (O magnificent), Ya Karim (O generous), and Ya Rahim (O most beneficent).
This masterpiece from Kashmir is a wonderful example of calligraphy and decoration on metal.
This abkhora has deep well-shaped bowl, open flared mouth and a low ring base. The name ‘Ramazan-bin-Abdullah’ appears on this vessel.
It is an important piece as it has Iranian style workmanship and the name of person who offers water to his master is inscribed on it, which is rare.
This handi (cooking vessel) from North India is decorated with floral pattern and Persian couplets, which are inscribed around the object.
The Persian couplets give out messages for human beings. The date 1023 AH/ 1615 CE is inscribed near the couplets. The date is of Mughal emperor Jahangir’s reign (1605-1627).
The instrument consists of a solid body, the mater, into which fit a series of planets and a revolving circular web-like star map, called the ‘rete’ in Europe and the ‘ankabut’ (spider) in the Islamic world. The various elements, including a sighting vane (the alidade), on the back of the instrument, were held together by a pin.
The word ‘Dastar’ (in Persian) or ‘turban’ or ‘pagdi’ (in Hindi) is used for the long loose piece of cloth worn as head-dress by men in India.
The turban is tied by folding it in different styles and wrapping it around the head. Turban generally becomes insignia of a person’s pride. The colour, tying style, shape and additional ornamentation often indicate the status of a person in the royal court.
The fine long plain muslin of white colour has inscription of six lines in Persian at one end and is a fine example of a ‘dastar’.
The couplets describe that the turban was presented as a Hadya (gift) to a noble who was entitled as Motaámmed Daula, a minister of India by Mumin. The couplets contain prayers to Almighty God, for the noble man for his long life
Curation: Dr. Anamika Pathak and Zahid Ali Ansari
Exhibit Compilation - Rajalakshmi Karakulam
Gallery Design - Kuldeep Pokhriyal and Priya
Photography - Hariom Maurya & Suresh Mahto
Photo Editing - Hariom Maurya