Tomb Cover thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Tomb Cover

ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Silks like this with zigzag designs on a red ground were specially made to line the Ka’bah. This is the cube-shaped stone building at Mecca which is the major site for Muslim pilgrimage.

On this textile the largest inscription is the Shahadah, the Islamic declaration of faith. The narrower band above it contains a quotation from the Qur'an. In it, God instructs Muslims to pray towards the Ka'bah. The other texts praise God.

Grand mausoleums were erected over the graves of the great and the holy in most Islamic societies. These buildings included the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad himself in his mosque at Medina, north of Mecca.

Caring for the Prophet’s tomb was a notable honour. When the Ottoman dynasty ruled Medina (1517–1916), special textiles were made to cover his tomb. Similar textiles were sent to decorate the Ka’bah in Mecca. Contact with the holy places imbued these covers with ‘barakah’ or divine grace. When the covers were renewed, pieces were preserved as relics.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Silk, woven
Brief description
Tomb cover (section of the lining of the Ka'bah), Turkey (probably Bursa), ca. 1800.
Physical description
Red silk with zigzag bands in yellow containing calligraphy (including the shahadah, verses from the Qur'an, and invocations of God). Lampas weave, with satin ground and weft-faced twill pattern. Warp and weft are of silk.
Dimensions
  • Length: 143cm
  • Width: 68.3cm
plus roller
Style
Gallery label
Jameel Gallery Section of the Lining of the Ka'bah Turkey, probably Bursa About 1800 Silks with zigzag designs on a red ground were specially made to line the Ka'bah, the holy shrine in Mecca. The largest inscription is the Shahadah, the Islamic declaration of faith. The narrower band above it contains a quotation from the Qur'an. In it, God instructs Muslims to pray towards the Ka'bah. The other texts praise God. Silk thread in lampas weave Museum number 1063-1900 Given by Dudley B. Myers, Esq.(2006-2012)
Credit line
Given by Dudley B. Myers, Esq.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Silks like this with zigzag designs on a red ground were specially made to line the Ka’bah. This is the cube-shaped stone building at Mecca which is the major site for Muslim pilgrimage.

On this textile the largest inscription is the Shahadah, the Islamic declaration of faith. The narrower band above it contains a quotation from the Qur'an. In it, God instructs Muslims to pray towards the Ka'bah. The other texts praise God.

Grand mausoleums were erected over the graves of the great and the holy in most Islamic societies. These buildings included the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad himself in his mosque at Medina, north of Mecca.

Caring for the Prophet’s tomb was a notable honour. When the Ottoman dynasty ruled Medina (1517–1916), special textiles were made to cover his tomb. Similar textiles were sent to decorate the Ka’bah in Mecca. Contact with the holy places imbued these covers with ‘barakah’ or divine grace. When the covers were renewed, pieces were preserved as relics.
Bibliographic references
  • The Arts of Islam, Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Hayward Gallery, 8 April - 4 July, 1976, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1976. Cat. no. 33, p.86.
  • pp.59-61 Ipek, Dr. Selin, Dressing the Prophet. Textiles from the Haramayn. Hali. Summer 2011, Issue 168
Collection
Accession number
1063-1900

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Record createdNovember 4, 2003
Record URL
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