Tiraz textile: fragment of a shawl - ROM2014_13931_31


Tiraz textile: fragment of a shawl

Medium:Linen tabby with silk tapestry
Geography: Misr (Old Cairo), Egypt
Date: Dated AH 315 (927-928 AD)
Period: al-Muqtadir (r. 907-933), Abbasid Dynasty
Object number: 978.76.985.B
Credit Line: Abemayor Collection given in memory of Dr. Veronika Gervers, Associate Curator, Textile Department (1968-1979) by Albert and Federico Friedberg. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
Not on view

Shawl fragment with large kufic tiraz bands. Both ends of this garment are in the Museum's collection, and both bear approximately the same inscription. The large size of the simple kufic script is remarkable, as is the fact that the two lines read as a continuous inscription. Usually, the two lines are identical, reading from opposite sides of the loom. Although both pieces have gaps, it is possible to reconstruct most of the inscription using the evidence of both. The inscription names Ali, son of Isa, the well-known vizier of the Caliph al-Muqtadir bi-llah, as the one who ordered the textile from the private factory of Misr (present day Cairo). It also names the superintendant of the tiraz, Shafi al-Muqtadiri. However, the name of the Caliph himself has not survived.

The blue silk thread has disappeared from a large area. Is this the result of natural deterioration (from the burial)? Or was his name deliberately removed? In Fatimid Egypt the name of the Abbasid caliph might have been deemed too offensive to be used for a shroud (as this textile was).

Inscription (as reconstructed) Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim al-hamdu lillah rabb al-alamin wa-salla Allah ala Muhammad khatim al-nabiyyin. Barakah min Allah wa-namah wa-[?...al-Muqtadir billah] amir al-muminin; Ali b. Isa biamalihi fi tiraz al-khassah bi-Misr ala yaday Shafi al-Muqtadiri fi sanat khams ashr wa-[thalatha mi'ah] "In the name of God the Merciful the Compassionate, praise to God, Master of the Worlds, and may God pray for Muhammad, Seal of the prophets. Blessings from God and grace and [on al-Muqtadir billah], Commander of the Faithful. Ali son of Isa, [ordered] its making in the private tiraz factory in Misr under the supervision of Shafi al-Muqtadiri, in the year [9]27–928."

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