Camel Silk

Camel Silk


Silk with camel, feline and bird motifs

Period: X-XIth century
Pattern repeat: 21 cm
Material width: 105 cm
5 patterns is a row
100% silk


22 in stock

Weight 150 g
Dimensions 105 cm


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This beautiful and rare pattern what’s original is probably made in Syria bares not only the Syrian but Byzantine characteristics of silk wave. For the kufic inscription, the page of the silk in The Clevaland Museum of Art’s website, gives the following decipherement: al-mulk lillah, what means Dominion belongs to God.

Original textile from the website of The Clevaland Museum of Art

However Louise W. Mackie found another interpetation for the meaning of the text:

A two-color roundel pattern features symmetrical beasts of burden, prey and royal title. Within the roundels, diamond grids frame eight-pointed stars featuring confronted camels bearing inscribed howdahs with birds and foliation both above and below. Pairs of spotted felines enliven the interstices. Royal howdahs were roughly the quivalent of furnished tents that were secured on the backs camels or elephants. 

The kufic script on the howdahs reads “al-malik” or “the king,” the likely abbreviation in the limited space for “King of Kings,” the imperial title symbolizing the supreme authority of the powerful Buyid dynasty that controlled Baghdad, most of Iraq, and western Iran from 932 to 1062. The Iranian Buyinds adopted the earlier Sasanian title Shahanshar (King of Kings), and the Arabic equivalent of “malik al-muluk.”

Louise W. Mackie: Symbols of Power – Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th-21st Century