Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Casket with Figural Imagery

Object Name:
mid-13th century
Brass; worked metal sheet inlaid with silver
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm) W. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.564a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
The walls of this casket bear seated figures and musicians with coursing animals on the borders. Most of the silver inlay that once provided contrast to the forms has been lost, as craftsmen working in the mid-thirteenth century did not prepare metal sheets to receive precious metal, but simply incised outlines around the areas to be inlaid. The pseudo-calligraphy along the chamfered portion of the lid of this casket is purely decorative.
Inscription: According to Abdullah Ghouchani the calligraphy is purely decorative.
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Aanavi, Don. "Devotional Writing: "Pseudoinscriptions" in Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 26, no. 9 (May 1968). 357, ill. fig. 9 (b/w).

Bowie, Theodore Robert. "An Exhibition Prepared by Theodore Bowie." In Islamic Art Across the World. Vol. no. 1970/3. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Art Museum, 1970. no. 276.

Price, Judith. "Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization." In Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry. Philadelphia; London, 2008. p. 118, ill. (color).

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