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Basin with Zodiac signs and royal titles

Object Name:
Basin
Date:
late 13th–early 14th century
Geography:
Egypt or Syria
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; engraved and inlaid with silver and black compound
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm) Diam. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.553
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The bottom of this basin depicts the sun surrounded by all twelve signs on the zodiac and the seven planets of medieval belief. The titles of an unknown noble are arranged around the rim. This basin, with a matching ewer, may have been used for ablutions.
Inscription: Arabic inscription in thuluth script on inner wall; translation: "Happiness, abundance, felicity, honor, glory, permanent prosperity, eternal memory for the illustrious lord"; translation (outside): the same good wishes in Kufic script; translation (scratched inscription): "Malik `Ali Khan... Hasan [probably a later owner]". Another translation (inside): "The glory and the prosperity. The everlasting duration (survive) / To you (ye) patron (the exalted) The-high- / ranked and the generosity and the good fortune innovated"; outside illegible interlaced Kufic.

Copy of transcription and translation in Curatorial file.
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Carboni, Stefano. Following the Stars: The Zodiac in Islamic Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 3, pp. 12-13, ill. (b/w).



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