251 years old Ottoman calligraphic Galleon

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The contribution of the Muslim World to a wide range of arts, sciences and academic disciplines is often overlooked or taken for granted. This site provides a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage within the Muslim World and the significant role that Muslims have played in the advancement of knowledge. It presents the rich creativity of Islamic Arts and Architecture, traces the historical development of Islamic regions and dynasties, highlighting their diversity of artistic expression from the inception of the faith until the present

251 years old Calligraphic Galleon, Ottoman period, A.H. 1180 / 1766–67 A.D. Calligrapher: Abdul Qadir Hisari, Turkey

Flanked by two other galleons on the horizon, this carefully drawn imperial calligraphic galleon sits on a row of waves containing aphorisms. The imperial galleon with its wind-filled sails is an example of the sophistication of the Ottoman calligraphic tradition. The distinctive Ottoman imperial insignia (tughra), located on the stern of the square galley, dedicates the drawing to Sultan Mustafa bin Sultan Ahmed III (r. 1757–74). The prow, deck, hull, and stern of the galleon are a calligram (an image made out of calligraphic phrases). It contains the names of the seven sleepers of Ephesus and their dog Qitmir. The standard on the stern of the boat contains the apotropaic Throne verse (2:255) from the Qur’an. The combination of Qur’anic verse and the names of prophets, saints, and heroes found in the Qur’an endows this calligram with amuletic, auspicious, and talismanic powers. In the sky, like a sun disk, the dated signature of the calligrapher reads: Abdu’l Qadir al-Hisari in Akşehir in A.H. 1180 / 1766 A.D. The frame is composed of Ottoman Turkish poetry venerating the Prophet Muhammad.


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