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Basin

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1482-1499 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hammered sheet brass with engraved decoration

  • Museum number:

    206-1892

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Brass basin engraved with the blazons and titles of Sidi Muhammad, son of Saif al-Din Uzbak, a general in the service of the Mamluk Sultan Qaytbay. Compartmentalised decoration consistining of flower blossoms, lotuses and geometrical motifs.

Place of Origin

Egypt (possibly, made)

Date

1482-1499 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Hammered sheet brass with engraved decoration

Marks and inscriptions


مما عمل برسم المقرّ الأشرف الكريم العالي \ الناصري سيدي محمد نجل المقرّ الأشرف \ الكريم العالي المولوي الأتابكي \ السيفي ازبك الملكي الأشرفي

One of objects made for the most noble, the honourable, the exalted excellency Nasir al-Din Sidi Mohammed, progeny of the most noble, the honourable, the exalted excellency, our lord the commander-in-chief, Sayf al-Din Uzbak in the service of al-Malik al-Ashraf [Qaytbay].
On the inside of the rim, in four sections.

The father is most commonly known as Uzbak min Tutukh.

مما عمل برسم المقرّ \ الأشرف الكريم \ العالي الناصري \ سيدي محمد نجل المقرّ \ الأشرف الكريم \ العالي المولوي \ الأتابكي السيفي ازبك \ الملكي الأشرفي

One of objects made for the most noble, the honourable, the exalted excellency Nasir al-Din Sidi Mohammed, progeny of the most noble, the honourable, the exalted excellency, our lord the commander-in-chief, Sayf al-Din Uzbak in the service of al-Malik al-Ashraf [Qaytbay].
On the side of the basin, in eight square compartments.

Dimensions

Diameter: 50 cm rim, Height: 21.6 cm

Object history note

According to the two inscriptions on the basin, the person who commissioned it was Sidi Muhammad, son of Uzbak min Tutukh. The last title in the inscription is "al-Maliki al-Ashrafi", which refers to their allegiance to the Mamluk ruler Sultan Qa'itbay (r. 1468-86), whose regnal name was al-Malik al-Ashraf. According to Mayer, Uzbak min Tutukh, who died in 1499, is referred to in terms that suggest he, too, was still alive when the basin was made.

Mayer gives the terminus post quem as 1482, as Sayyid Muhammad was elevated to the rank of Amir of Ten in that year and would presumably have started to use the type of titulature used on the basin at this time.

Descriptive line

Middle East, Metalwork. Basin, brass with engraved decoration, blazons and Arabic titles of Nasir al-Din Sidi Muhammad, son of Sayf al-Din Uzbak, a general in the service of Sultan Qaytbay, Mamluk Egypt, 1482-1498.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

L.A. Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry. A Survey, Oxford University Press, 1933, reprinted 1999, p.164, no.165.
Assadullah Souren Melikian Chirvani, "Cuivres inedits de l'epoque de Qa'itbay", Kunst des Orients, VI, no.2, 1969, pp.99-133.

206-1892 is discussed on pp.116-9.

Labels and date

BASIN.
Brass , engraved with the blazons and titles of Nasir
al-Din Sidi Muhammad, son of Saif al-Din Uzbak, a
general in the service of the Mamluk Sultan Qayt-bay
(reigned 1468-196)
EGYPTIAN (MAMLUK); late 15th century.
206-1892 [up to 2002]

Materials

Brass

Techniques

Hammered; Engraved

Collection

Middle East Section

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