Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Catalogue of Islamic Seals and Talismans

A catalogue of seals and talismans housed at the Ashmolean from the 8th to 19th century Islamic world, by Ludvik Kalus (published Oxford, 1986).

Islamic Seals and Talismans by Ludvik Kalus

Publications online: 237 objects

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Oval bezel seal with kufic inscription



  • kufic

    A term denoting various styles of angular Arabic script. Emerged in the early centuries of Islam, kufic soon became the preferred hand to copy holy texts.


    • currently in research collection

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Publications online

  • Islamic Seals and Talismans by Ludvik Kalus

    Catalogue of Islamic Seals and Talismans

    Cornelian; bezel, bevelled towards the front; oval; back angle slightly rounded. The surface of the inferior face is divided into an oval field (A) and a border (B), these two units being separated by one oval line, doubled by the base line of the exterior kufic inscription. Three (A) and one (B) lines of kufic script; without dots. The reading of the exterior line (B) starts on the top of the right.

    A - (1) 'As God will! ما شاء الله
    (2) There is no power except in God!' (Qur. XVIII, 37/39) لا قوة الا بالله
    (3) I ask pardon of God! استغفر الله

    B - Muḥammad, ‘Alī, Fāṭima, al-Ḥasan, al-Ḥusayn, ‘Alī, Muḥammad, Ja‘far, Mūsā, ‘Alī, Muḥammad, ‘Alī, al-Ḥasan, al-Khalīf[?] Muḥammad
    محمد على فاطمة الحسن الحسين على محمد جعفر موسى على محمد على الحسن الخليف [؟] محمد

    This seal could perhaps be classified as late classical period (I.1).

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