, Tomb cover Enlarge 1 /1
Java, Indonesia

Tomb cover 17th-19th century Materials & Technique: sculptures, stone
Dimensions: 85.0 h x 85.0 w x 11.5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.158

Used for persons of rank throughout Islamic Southeast Asia for centuries, stone grave markers and tomb covers provide the earliest records of Muslim communities in Sumatra, Borneo and the Malay peninsula. Some grave stones were produced locally while others were imported from elsewhere in the region and from the Middle East. The stone used for this cover, which was collected in Java, was probably quarried in Malaysia. The sculptor (or sculptors, since the upper band is in a different calligraphic style) of the text may, however, have been Turkish in origin.

The inscription reads:

In the name of God, the All Merciful, the All Compassionate,
Say: He is God, the One and Only; God the Eternal, Absolute;
He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.
(Qur’an, 112: 1-4)


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label