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Bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)
    Cairo (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1468-1496 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Raised from brass sheet by hammering, with engraved and inlaid decoration. The inlay in gold and silver. Other materials (e.g. a black composition) may also have been used in the decoration but are now lost.

  • Museum number:

    1325-1856

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 18

During the reign of the Mamluk sultan Qa’itbay there was an upsurge in artistic production and quality. This was thanks in no small part to the sultan’s own enthusiastic patronage. While many of the artworks he commissioned were mosques and the furnishings to go with them, some objects appear to have been made for him personally. This beautiful deep-sided basin is inlaid with an inscription that reads: ‘Glory to our lord, the Sultan, the just ruler, the holy warrior, the guardian of the frontiers, the one aided [by God], the victorious, sultan of Islam and the Muslims, al-Malik al-Ashraf Abu'l-Nasr Qa'itbay’.

Physical description

Deep-sided brass basin, with repoussé, engraved and inlaid decoration.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)
Cairo (probably, made)

Date

1468-1496 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Raised from brass sheet by hammering, with engraved and inlaid decoration. The inlay in gold and silver. Other materials (e.g. a black composition) may also have been used in the decoration but are now lost.

Marks and inscriptions

¿izz li-mawlaanaa al-sulTaan al-malik * al-¿aadil al-mujaahid al-muraabiT a * l-mu?ayyad al-manSuur sulTaan al-?islaam * wa-al-muslimiin al-malik al-?ashraf ?abuu al-naSr qaa?itbaay ¿azza naSruhu
Arabic; inscription in large cartouches; reading after Lane-Poole.

IN CENTRAL FESS: ¿izz li-mawlaanaa al-sulTaan al-malik al-?ashraf
IN UPPER FIELD: ?abuu al-naSr qaa?itbaay
IN LOWER FIELD: ¿azza naSruhu
Arabic; inscription in epigraphic blazons; reading after Lane-Poole.

Dimensions

Height: 15.4 cm, Diameter: 40.6 cm

Descriptive line

Basin made for Sultan Qa'itbay, Egypt (probably Cairo), 1468-96.

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

Stanley Lane-Poole, The Art of the Saracens in Egypt, London, 1886, p.237, fig.89; p.238.
Tim Stanley, Palace and Mosque. Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, 2004; pp.56, 98; p.99, plate 112.

Labels and date

Basin for Sultan Qa'itbay
Egypt, probably Cairo
1468-96

This basin bears inscriptions glorifying Sultan Qa'itbay, for whom it was probably made. The sultan revived the production of inlaid metalwork, which had all but ceased during the 15th century. Several different models must have inspired the pieces made in his reign, since their decoration is very varied.

Brass inlaid with silver, gold and a black composition

Museum no. 1325-1856 [Jameel Gallery]

Production Note

Decorated with inscriptions naming the Mamluk sultan Qa'itbay, who ruled from 1468 to 1496.

Materials

Brass; Silver; Gold

Techniques

Hammering; Inlay; Repoussé

Categories

Islam; Metalwork

Collection

Middle East Section

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