V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Calligraphic symbols

Like their Ottoman contemporaries, Iranians of the Qajar period produced calligraphic designs that functioned like logos or icons. Unlike the Ottomans, however, they did not honour Muhammad’s first four successors, known as the ‘Four Friends’. They paid special reverence only to the fourth of these, ‘Ali, whom they regarded as the sole rightful successor. An invocation to ‘Ali forms the bar at the top of this small crutch. The crutch was to be used while the owner was sitting, with the bar as a rest.

Small steel crutch
Iran
About 1850
Museum No. 589-1876

Small steel crutch