Carpets and Textiles
20th century CE
Materials and technique
Felt embroidered with black silk
height 26 cm
A felt hat and cloak are part of dervish’s costume. Whether beautifully tailored or patched together from rough pieces of fabric, the hat and cloak symbolise the presence of a Sufi. The present hat is embroidered with the call to 'Ali (Nad-e 'Ali) prayer in black on a cream ground. The embroidered text is contained in interlocking crenellated motifs which form a graceful pattern. Although the form of the hat is well-known from paintings from the Safavid period onward, examples with embroidery do not appear in Safavid, Zand or Qajar painting. Given the late date, this may represent an evolution in the style of dervish hats. Alternatively, it could be part of a later trend to produce helmets, demon-headed maces and other objects which harked back to glorious periods of Iran’s past and were used for special events.
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