Iran, 1748

Amulets are often worn on the body or hung in architectural spaces. Their purpose is to protect against ailments and other types of danger and to encourage success and fortitude. This 18th-century Iranian example is covered with micrographic writing, including verses from the Qur’an and the 99 Beautiful Names (al-asma al-husna) of God, which describe his divine attributes. Qur’anic verses are considered by some believers to have protective powers.

42.1205, museum purchase (formerly part of Henry Walters’ collection), 1942

For a discussion of this amulet read Sheila S. Blair, An Amulet from Afsharid Iran, The Journal of the Walters Art Museum , Vol. 59, 2001