Antique Ottoman Brass Alem,
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Antique Ottoman Brass Alem, :
Hand forged Alems, such as this one, have become a sought after item in Middle Eastern antique shops. They are featured prominently in home decoration and some museums. For antique collectors, alems of different shapes and configurations are very attractive.In addition to being placed on the top of minarets, alems, which means sign, standard, or Flag in Arabic, are also placed on top of the domes of mosques, on cemetery fences, and on the top of Flag poles (standards). Besides being an element of architecture, the alem is also a valuable work of art.This particular Alem, part of my collection, was probably placed on a Turkish Military war standard and is likely from the Ottoman period. There are number of such standards in the Topkapi museum in Istanbul. Probable age is early 1800's. I collected it, and several others, in Cairo, that was once under Ottoman rule, and where I was residing in the early 1990's. It is made of bronze and is in the condition found when collected. It could be polished but I have not wanted to remove the patina of age. Dimensions are 17 inches height and 6.5 inches width, weight is about 3 lbs.This script on this standard translates as "Allah is praying for Mohammad".