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Iran: 19th Century banners

Last modified: 2019-11-10 by ian macdonald
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A banner from the 1840s

[Iranian State ensign] image located by Bill Garrison, 27 October 2019


Triangular banner, woven silk and metal thread. The warp of the main piece runs along the lower edge of the triangle; the blue border has been stitched to the red centre.

The central triangular panel has a red ground, with a gold lion outlined in red in the centre; the lion's mouth is open and the tongue extended. The upper half of the Sun lies behind the lion's back, in silver with gold pointed rays outlined in red. Two red locks of hair fall from a point above the forehead of the Sun; they fall over the lion's back and curl outwards. The nose and eyebrows of the Sun's face are formed from the same red line, and there is a gold and red disc in the middle of the brow. The pattern on the red ground, of silver floral decoration and inscriptions within shaped cartouches, is rather clumsily interrupted by the lion and Sun and the edges are abrupt, although some floral stems have been placed around the lion's feet. The ground appears to be silver divided into a lattice. The inscriptions, forming a quatrain, alternate in vertical bands; each row of cartouches contains a repeating single verse, the rows read 'down' to repeat the quatrain.

The broad border consists of three bands:
[1] silver ground with a fine blue meander, linking a diagonal leaf and a four-petalled flower either side of a wider silver band containing an inscription.
[2] wide band, silver ground with lobed blue cartouches with three different inscriptions alternating with a four-lobed compartment with three different inscriptions. There is a partial rosette in blue between these compartments.
[3] as [1].
Bill Garrison, 27 October 2019

A banner from the 1880s

[Iranian State ensign] image located by Bill Garrison, 27 October 2019

A banner of wool facecloth, applied and embroidered with the Qajar lion amidst scrolling flowering vines, the borders with calligraphic cartouches and floral boteh--47 x 34in. (120 x 86cm.) Rescht, late 19th century,

Bill Garrison, 27 October 2019