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Sitara, Interior Door Curtain of the Ka'ba

This Sitara is a very rare example of a curtain that once hung inside the Bab al-Tawba (Door of Repentance) of the Ka‘ba, the structure in Mecca that Muslims believe is the house of God on earth. The Ottoman sultan’s name, Abdülhamid II, who had the imperial prerogative of ordering the replacement of textiles for the Ka‘ba, appears in the fifth line beneath four qur’anic cartouches. A medallion-like calligraphic composition in the center of the lower half contains the name and titles of ‘Abbas Hilmi Pasha, seeking with this offering blessing for him and his family.

Such a centralized design emphasizes the political prominence of the local ruler of Egypt, who oversaw production of the textile a ...
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Dated A.H. 1315/A.D. 1897-98
Silk; embroidered with heavy silver and silver-gilt thread with additional colored silk panels
280.7 x 160.0cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection