Four Seljuk rings

This 12th-13th century ring is made of silver and gold with the diametre of 2.5cm.


There is a carved seal of purple stone and a calligraphic niello design on the under side.

The inscription on the seal reads-

“bi’llah yathiq ‘ali”

which in English means “Ali puts his trust in God”. The second inscription around the bezel reads-

“al-‘izz al-da/’im wa al-i/qbal al/ al-baqa”

which in English translates to “Perpetual Glory, Prosperity, and Long-life.” The final inscription has not been translated. The ring was sold by Sotheby’s for 27,500 GBP.

seljukring2 This 12th-13th century ring of gold has a bezel decorated with two birds, inside a cartouche surrounded by arabesques and human figures holding up pseudo claw settings. The ring is 1.7 cm high. Sold by Christie’s for 2,115 GBP.

This 12th-13th century gold ring is decorated in a hexagonal shape with niello in a curling arabesque design and a calligraphic inscription that reads-

“Abu Bakr Musa”

who was the owner of the ring. The band of the ring has harpies and palmettes. It is 1.9 cm high. It was sold by Bonhams for 1,800 GBP.


This high stirrup ring is 9th-11th century silver, with a high raised bezel setting with an amethyst. There is a calligraphic kufic inscription which reads in English-

“Blessing to Hasan”

who is the owner of the ring. It is 3.8cm high. It had been passed in at Bonhams.

A textile embroidered with quatrefoils and stems

ashmoleanquatrefoilandstems This textile is thought to have been made between the 10th and 15th century C.E. in Egypt. The dimensions are 18 cm by 19 cm, with the ground fabric of tabby woven linen embroidered in running and double running stitch in blue and red silk. There is a selvedge along the top of the textile.

It can be found in the Ashmolean Museum, Accession number EA1993.206

I have charted the design. It is available to download as a pdf document.
ashmoleanquartrefoilsandstems PDF

Let me know how it goes!

Buyid embroideries

largebuyidembroideredcloth11thcent This textile was made in either Iran or Iraq in the 11th century, under the Buyids. It is 31.5 cm by 40.5 cm and the base fabric is mulham (silk warp and cotton weft fabric) tabby woven with silk and gold thread embroidery. It has two tiraz inscriptions, which read (on the top)-

“. . . command and glory and power and good fortune and . . . peace and command and command [one word garbled].”

with the text on the bottom-

“. . . [the Compassionat]te [?]. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds and the wor[lds?].”

The textile is in the Cleveland Museum of Art, accession number 1938.300.

buyidembroidery11thcent Also thought to have been made in the 11th century in either Iran or Iraq, this textile is 40 cm by 26 cm. Also mulham ground fabric embroidered in silk and gold wrapped thread, with roundels of birds and animals. There is a tiraz at the bottom, but no translation is available. It is currently in the Cleveland Museum of Art accession number 1952.257.

Four Seljuk embroideries in the Cleveland Museum of Art

12thcentseljuktiraz This textile was thought to have been made in either Iran or Iraq during the time of the Seljuk Empire. The base fabric is mulham (silk warp thread with cotton weft thread) woven into a tabby or plain weave. The embroidery is a tiraz, sewn in silk and gold metal thread with the dimensions being 6cm high and 19.7cm wide. The textile’s accession number is 1950.560.

seljuk12thcentembroidery This textile was thought to have been made in the 12th century in either Iraq or Iran. Like the previous textile, it is also mulham tabby weave embroidered with silk and gold metal thread. The dimensions are 14.6cm high and 8cm wide. This textile’s accession number is 1950.561.

seljuk12thcentroundelembroidery This textile is also like the other textiles- mulham tabby weave with silk and gold metal embroidery from the 12th century. The dimensions are 7cm high and 23.5cm wide in a roundel design with a bird in the centre. The accession number is 1950.562 with another view of the textile available on the page.

12thcentseljukbirdembroidery This textile is the same as the previous- mulham tabby weave with silk and gold metal embroidery. The dimensions are 7.3cm high and 21.6 cm wide. The accession number is 1950.533 with another view of the textile available on the site.

Recommended Reading
Ars Islamica, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1934. Via the Internet Archive.

Ancient Silk Textiles in the Land of Israel by Shamir O. and Baginski A. in Resist Dye on the Silk road: Shibori, Clamp Resist and Ikat. Proceeding of the 9th International Shibori Symposium in Hangzhou, China. Pp. 25-31. Via

Tiraz: Textiles and Dress with Inscriptions in Central and Southwest Asia by Margaret Anne Deppe. PDF file.

A double running cotton embroidery

ashmoleandiamondsandtriangles This textile was made in Egypt between the 10th and 15th centuries C.E. It is a base fabric of plain woven linen, with the dimensions of 29.5 cm high and 13 cm wide. It is embroidered in cotton, in double running stitch. The textile had been torn at some stage and badly repaired with flax thread. Both of the embroidery themselves are 2 cm wide and 6.5 cm wide. Currently the textile is in the Ashmolean Museum.

It is a very striking design, with a chart available for download in pdf format-

ashmoleandiamondsandtriangles pdf

Let me know how the chart works for you.

An embroidery of interlacing chevrons and Maltese crosses

interlacingchevronsandcrosses This embroidered textile was found in Egypt. It is linen embroidered in blue flax and red silk and was thought to have been made between the 10th and 15th century C.E. The length is 18 cm and the width is 9 cm. The embroidery is mainly in blue flax, with some red silk being seen on the edges of the embroidery. The textile is currently in the Ashmolean Museum.

I have charted up the design. It is available in PDF format for download.

ashmoleaninterlacingchevronsandcrosses PDF

I would love to know how it embroiders up!

The citadel and old city of Bam, Iran

BAM_IR2726 Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

The citadel and old city of Bam in Iran has been inhabited since the time of the Parthian Empire, which was between 247 B.C.E to 224 C.E. However, the city became an important stop on the silk and cotton trade route, specialising in garments sewn from the imported textiles during the 7th to 11th century C.E.

Bam has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as being one of the best fortified city and citadel built with layers of mud and mud bricks. It is also an oasis area of the Kerman Province with underground irrigation pipes that can be dated from the time of original settlement.

Unfortunately in 2003 there was a major earthquake that severely damaged the old city and citadel.
Destruction_of_the_Bam_Citadel Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Since 2004 UNESCO and the Iranian Government have had a reconstruction plan in place to rebuild the city using traditional techniques with only a few modern additions.