Finial with Arabic Inscription”Ya, Da’im” (“Oh, Everlasting!”)
17th century probably Iran
Finials such as this example likely came from the tops of standards (‘alams) carried in Shi’i processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the battle of Karbala. The ‘alams signify the battle standards carried by Husain and his band of supporters. These finials are datable to the seventeenth century, a period in which the Shi’i religious orthodoxy was particularly pronounced in Iran.
Inscription: Arabic; transliteration: “Ya da’im”; translation: “Oh, Everlasting” (one of the ninety-nine most beautiful names of God).