This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in:English, German.

Name of Object:

Oval amulet with Sura


Vienna, Austria

Holding Museum:

Kunsthistorisches Museum

 About Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Date of Object:

Hegira 11th–12th century / AD 17th–18th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Orange-red carnelian


Length: 6.48cm, Width: 3.77cm, Depth: 0.6cm

Period / Dynasty:



Near East


An oval amulet made of white and red garnet, bordered with a line from Ayat-al-Kursi (The Chair) in naskhi epigraphy reading: "Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever Living, the One who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that intercedes with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of his Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi (Chair) extends over the heavens and earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them".
Setting the closing words of the Ayat in the centre of the amulet, which read: "And He is the most High, the most Great".

How date and origin were established:

Expertise curatorial staff

How Object was obtained:

Bought AD 1942

How provenance was established:

Museum inventory

Selected bibliography:

Komorzynski, "Assyrische, babylonische und südarabische Denkmäler im KHM in Wien," Österr. Literaturzeitung, 1 (1952): 6.
Leitner-Böchzelt, Susanne and Pfaffenbichler, Matthias (eds), Die Welt des Orients. Kunst und Kultur des Islam, Leoben: Stadtgemeinde Leoben, 2006: 135, Kat.-Nr. 156.

Citation of this web page:

Mohamed Abbas, Cairo "Oval amulet with Sura" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;EPM;at;Mus22;51;en

Prepared by: Mohamed Abbas, Cairo
Copyedited by: Liz Cooper

MWNF Working Number: AT2 51