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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (probably, made)

  • Date:

    11th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper alloy, hammered and incised

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This bucket is one of a small group of similar items. Scholars think they probably came from Egypt, where several of them were acquired, and have dated them to the 10th and 11th centuries. The buckets all have the same cylindrical shape and the same type of attachment for the handle (by swivel pins). They also have similar incised decoration, which includes a band containing an inscription. In this case the wording is not legible, but on another of the buckets it contains good wishes for those who use it. The handle has a hole in the centre, to which a suspension ring was once attached. The bucket may therefore have hung over a well.

Physical description

Copper alloy bucket with flat base and cylindrical body with a raised band around the rim. Rising from this band, and flush with it, are two flanges to which the arched handle is attached by swivel pins. The raised band and the walls of the bucket immediately below it have incised decoration arranged in three registers. The top register, on the raised band, is based on an interlace pattern. Below this, on the body of the bucket is an unread inscription in Arabic, reserved in a hatched ground. The bottom register is a row of lozenges, also reserved in a hatched ground. The bands of decoration are defined top and bottom by rows of elongated dots, and similar dots define the central band containing the inscription. The handle is decorated with incised lines and has a hole in the centre, to which a suspension ring was once attached.

Place of Origin

Egypt (probably, made)


11th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Copper alloy, hammered and incised


Height: 15.8 cm, Diameter: 17.3 cm

Object history note

when this object came into the Museum in 1923 it was registered as 18th century Syrian.

Descriptive line

Middle East, Metalwork. bronze, engraved with inscriptions in Kufic script invoking good wishes for the owner, Egypt (Fatimid), 10th-11th c., Islamic. Inter-departmental transfer to MES, RF 2011/1170.


Copper alloy


Hammered; Incised


Islam; Africa


Middle East Section

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