January 27, 2014

Seal ring with inscription
Iran or Central Asia, late 15th-early 16th century

This magnificent gold ring holds a jade stone engraved with religious verses known as the Nad-i ‘Ali, an invocation to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. The text is written in mirror reverse, suggesting that the stone may once have served as a seal. Further tiny poetic inscriptions—in cartouches around the golden bezel—contain prayerlike verses, perhaps invested with apotropaic qualities, placed there to ensure the safety of its wearer.
Inscription: Inscriptions in Arabic in thuluth script on stone: At center of seal:عزمن لا یموتGlorified be [He] who will not die. Surrounding seal, in four segments:ناد علیاً مظهر العجائبی تجده عوناً لك في النوائبي کل هم و غم سینجلي بولایتك یا علي یا علي یا عليCall upon ‘Ali, the revealer of miracles made manifest, You will find him a comfort to you in times of misfortune All care and sorrows will disappear through your companionship, O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali Inscription in Persian in thuluth script, around bezel:جانـا نـداي تـرا بجاهسـت کـه حدیـث گویـم عالم هر دو در نگین جانبخش لعل شماست سلیمان خوان ازین خاتم عالم بود در کفش کــه مهـــر جانـــم هســـت محبـــت سانــم؟O my Lord! Instead of writing Thy name, I say the following words. O my soul! In consequence of my love Thy image is everywhere with me. O my soul! Be as wise in conversation as Solomon. My world and heaven are in this ring.”Inscription in Persian in kufic script on interior of bezel:مبارک بادBe fortunate Inscription in kufic script underneath stone:محمدMuhammad

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Seal ring with inscription

Iran or Central Asia, late 15th-early 16th century

This magnificent gold ring holds a jade stone engraved with religious verses known as the Nad-i ‘Ali, an invocation to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. The text is written in mirror reverse, suggesting that the stone may once have served as a seal. Further tiny poetic inscriptions—in cartouches around the golden bezel—contain prayerlike verses, perhaps invested with apotropaic qualities, placed there to ensure the safety of its wearer.

Inscription: Inscriptions in Arabic in thuluth script on stone: At center of seal:عزمن لا یموتGlorified be [He] who will not die. Surrounding seal, in four segments:ناد علیاً مظهر العجائبی تجده عوناً لك في النوائبي کل هم و غم سینجلي بولایتك یا علي یا علي یا عليCall upon ‘Ali, the revealer of miracles made manifest, You will find him a comfort to you in times of misfortune All care and sorrows will disappear through your companionship, O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali Inscription in Persian in thuluth script, around bezel:جانـا نـداي تـرا بجاهسـت کـه حدیـث گویـم عالم هر دو در نگین جانبخش لعل شماست سلیمان خوان ازین خاتم عالم بود در کفش کــه مهـــر جانـــم هســـت محبـــت سانــم؟O my Lord! Instead of writing Thy name, I say the following words. O my soul! In consequence of my love Thy image is everywhere with me. O my soul! Be as wise in conversation as Solomon. My world and heaven are in this ring.”Inscription in Persian in kufic script on interior of bezel:مبارک بادBe fortunate Inscription in kufic script underneath stone:محمدMuhammad

Metropolitan Museum of Art 

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