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2 HAJJ CERTIFICATES: Mecca, Medina

880.00

 

2 sheets, each circa 40 x 55 cm (15.8 x 21.6 inches) (soft folds, minor staining, small tears in margins, overall in a good condition)

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Description

The set includes 2 exceedingly charming Hajj certificates with views of Masjid al-Haram and Kaaba in the center and with Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, surrounded by smaller views of the important monuments and stops on the Hajj. The printed template under the large images, where the gaps should be filled in with hand-written name of the pilgrim and the date, have been left blank.

The history of the Hajj certificates goes back to the Seljuk empire when elaborately hand-made illustrated documents, usually in forms of scrolls showcased the stations on the way to Mecca with Kaaba as the final destination and the centerpiece of the composition.

The certificates were ordered by people who made the pilgrimage as a proof and souvenir of their important journey and also as a talisman. For centuries they were only available to wealthier classes, but the cheaper printing techniques in the late 19th century and cheaper paper made them available to the wider population.

The charming colourful certificates, such as ours, are typical for the mid 20th century and were printed in Mecca. They respect the traditional composition of the images and positions of the titles based on the older manuscripts.

These today hugely underappreciated mid-Century prints were usually preserved framed on the walls of family apartments in the second half of the 20th century, but as so many ephemeral items became rare in the last decades and are disappearing form the market.

References: Cf. Ulrich MARZOLPH, Muqarnas. From Mecca To Mashhad: The Narrative of an Illustrated Shiʿi Pilgrimage Scroll from the Qajar Period, Vol. 31 (2014), pp. 207-242.

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