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

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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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Heart-shaped bezel amulet from a pendant, inscribed with the Throne verse

  • loan
  • Literature notes

    Brownish jasper, in undecorated silver setting (being element of bracelet); bezel; oval pointed on the inferior side. The inscription is found on the central ground (A), within three concentric lines, and on the border (B), surrounded on its outer edge by two concentric lines following the shape of the gem. Eight medallions attached to a tree, in the central ground (A): right top (1), right middle (2), right bottom (3), middle top (4), centre (5), left top (6), left middle (7), left bottom (8). One script ensemble in every medallion in the central ground (A1-8), one line in the border (B). Cursive script; engraved.

    A - (1) 'Peace it is, till the rising of dawn.' (Qur. XCVII, 5) سلام هى حتي مطلع الفجر
    (2) ' "Peace be upon Noah among all beings!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 79) سلام على نوح في العالمين
    (3) Oh God! ' "Peace be upon Elias!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 130) [sic] يا الله سلام على الياسين
    (4) ' "Peace be upon you! Well you have fared; enter in, to dwell forever" '. (Qur. XXXIX, 73) سلام عليك طبتم فادخلوها خالدين
    (5) 'Help from God and a nigh victory!' (Qur. LXI, 13) نصر من الله وفتح قريب
    (6) ' "Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 120) سلام على موسى وهروت
    (7) ' "Peace!" - such is the greeting, from a Lord All-compassionate.' (Qur. XXXVI, 58) سلام قولا من رب رحيم
    (8) Oh Guardian! ' "Peace be upon Abraham!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 109) يا حافظ سلام على ابرهيم

    B - In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. 'God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall interced with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His Throne comprises the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-high, the All-glorious.' (Qur. II, 256/255)
    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الله لا اله الا هو الحى القيوم لا تاخذه سنة ولا نوم
    له ما في السموات وما في الارض من ذا الذى يشفع عنده الا باذنه يعلم ما بين ايديهم
    وما خلفهم ولا يحيطون بشئ من علمه الا بما شاء وسع كرسيه السموات والارض ولا
    وهو العلى العظيم يؤده حفظهما
    There are groups of dots spread over the ground of the border.
  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia India (possible place of creation)
    Asia Iran (possible place of creation)
    Asia India (possible place of purchase)
    Date
    probably 18th - 19th century (1701 - 1900)
    Associated people
    Moses (active 14th - 13th century BC) (named on object)
    Elias (active 9th century BC (900 - 801)) (named on object)
    Aaron (active 14th century BC (1400 - 1301)) (named on object)
    Abraham (active early 2nd millennium BC) (named on object)
    Material and technique
    jasper, incised; silver setting
    Dimensions
    with setting 5.3 x 5.2 x 1 cm (height x width x depth)
    without setting 3.9 x 4.5 cm (height x width)
    0.05 kg (weight)
    Material index
    inorganicstonesilicaquartz jasper,
    inorganicstonegemstonequartz jasper,
    Technique index
    formed cast
    Object type index
    No. of items
    1
    Credit line
    Lent by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.
    Accession no.
    LI1008.4
  • Further reading

    Kalus, Ludvik, Catalogue of Islamic Seals and Talismans (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), no. 1.45 on pp. 72-73, pl. II.1.45

Location

    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.

 

Publications online

  • Islamic Seals and Talismans by Ludvik Kalus

    Catalogue of Islamic Seals and Talismans

    Brownish jasper, in undecorated silver setting (being element of bracelet); bezel; oval pointed on the inferior side. The inscription is found on the central ground (A), within three concentric lines, and on the border (B), surrounded on its outer edge by two concentric lines following the shape of the gem. Eight medallions attached to a tree, in the central ground (A): right top (1), right middle (2), right bottom (3), middle top (4), centre (5), left top (6), left middle (7), left bottom (8). One script ensemble in every medallion in the central ground (A1-8), one line in the border (B). Cursive script; engraved.

    A - (1) 'Peace it is, till the rising of dawn.' (Qur. XCVII, 5) سلام هى حتي مطلع الفجر
    (2) ' "Peace be upon Noah among all beings!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 79) سلام على نوح في العالمين
    (3) Oh God! ' "Peace be upon Elias!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 130) [sic] يا الله سلام على الياسين
    (4) ' "Peace be upon you! Well you have fared; enter in, to dwell forever" '. (Qur. XXXIX, 73) سلام عليك طبتم فادخلوها خالدين
    (5) 'Help from God and a nigh victory!' (Qur. LXI, 13) نصر من الله وفتح قريب
    (6) ' "Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 120) سلام على موسى وهروت
    (7) ' "Peace!" - such is the greeting, from a Lord All-compassionate.' (Qur. XXXVI, 58) سلام قولا من رب رحيم
    (8) Oh Guardian! ' "Peace be upon Abraham!" ' (Qur. XXXVII, 109) يا حافظ سلام على ابرهيم

    B - In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. 'God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber seizes Him not, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall interced with Him save by His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is after them, and they comprehend not anything of His knowledge save such as He wills. His Throne comprises the heavens and earth; the preserving of them oppresses Him not; He is the All-high, the All-glorious.' (Qur. II, 256/255)
    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الله لا اله الا هو الحى القيوم لا تاخذه سنة ولا نوم
    له ما في السموات وما في الارض من ذا الذى يشفع عنده الا باذنه يعلم ما بين ايديهم
    وما خلفهم ولا يحيطون بشئ من علمه الا بما شاء وسع كرسيه السموات والارض ولا
    وهو العلى العظيم يؤده حفظهما
    There are groups of dots spread over the ground of the border.
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