All Collections
Previous Next
Back to Collection

Falcons’ Hoods

MXD 282 | India | 18th or 19th century

Print Download

Artwork Details

Title: Falcons’ Hoods

Date: 18th or 19th century

Location: India

Materials: oriental mother-of-pearl, gold sheet and hammered wire, plaited wire tassel, satin lining

Dimensions: 3.7cm (height); 11cm (with tassel)

Accession Number: MXD 282

Other Notes:

Like hunting and horsemanship (furusiyyah), falconry (bayzarah) was an essential aspect of Islamic chivalry. Under the Abbasids it united the ancient Bedouin traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia with the imperial traditions of Byzantium and Sasanian Iran, giving rise to treatises on hunting like that of the 11th-century poet, Kushajim. Under the major Turkish dynasties and the Mongols this already rich culture was enriched by the immemorial traditions of the Eurasian steppes, which gave rise to a vast literature of treatises (baznamah) on the classification and training of goshawks (baz) and other raptors and the treatment of their disorders and diseases. The most highly valued were gyrfalcons (sunqur), obtained with great difficulty in remote countries like Siberia, Manchuria and the far north of Russia, which were prized as diplomatic gifts. In later Islamic cultures they evidently came to be seen as attributes of royalty, and portraits of Mughal emperors or Safavid Shahs often show them with a falcon at their wrist [see MSS 874, MSS 965, MSS 1067]. Shah ‘Abbas I is also reported to have built a mausoleum in 1001 AH (1592–3 AD) on a hill outside Natanz in central Iran for his favourite falcon, Lavand (‘the valiant’).

These hoods, which would have accommodated the head of a larger bird, are surmounted by sockets for plumes.


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.422, p.353.

Related Artworks

Small Flask

JLY 1075
Jaipur, India

Youth in European Dress and Young Woman with Indian Headdress, from a Shahnamah

MSS 1000.1, MSS 1000.2
Isfahan, Iran


POT 684

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 154
Ottoman Turkey

Mail and Plate Shirt

MTW 1158
Northern Caucasus
for the Persian or Ottoman market

Two ‘Hands of Fatimah’

JLY 1923
India, possibly Hyderabad (Deccan)

Calligraphic Practice Sheet

CAL 266
Qazvin, Iran

Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

KFQ 90
Iran, Isfahan

Carpet with Star Medallions

TXT 213
Ushak, western Anatolia, Turkey

Mosque Lamp

GLS 572

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 45
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 50
Middle East

Five Folios from a Qur’an

KFQ 52
Middle East or North Africa

Two Folios from the ‘Blue Qur’an’

KFQ 53
North Africa or Spain

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 60
probably the Hijaz

Two Bifolios from a Qur’an

KFQ 82
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 93
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Large Qur’an

KFQ 96
probably North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur'an

KFQ 34
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 84
Middle East or North Africa



Khalili Collections Logo

Share this page