Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Tray of Yemeni Sultan al-Mu'ayyad ibn Yusuf

Maker:
Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Mosuli
Object Name:
Tray
Date:
ca. 1296–1321
Geography:
Egypt, Cairo
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; inlaid with silver
Dimensions:
Max. Diam. 30 5/8 in. (77.8 cm) Diam. from base to top of rim: 1 3/16 in. (3 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.602
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
The inscriptions on this tray are even more informative than usual. Not only do they document the object’s commission for a Rasulid sultan of Yemen, they also include the signature of a metalworker whose name links him with the traditions of Mosul metalworking and, even more rare, the specific place of manufacture: Cairo.
Inscription: Arabic, in Mamluk naskhi script; translation (rim) "Glory to our Lord, the Sultan, the King, the aided, the wise, the just, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the defender of the outposts, the lion of the world and religion, Dawud, the Sultan of Islam and the Muslims, the ... of justice in the world, the son of our Lord, the Sultan, the king, the victorious, the happy, the martyr, the sun of the world and religion, Yusuf, may God sacrifice for him ... made by Husayn Ahmad b. Husayn al-Mawsili in Cairo"; (interior) "Glory to our Lord, the Sultan, the King, the aided, the wise, the just, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the defender of the outposts, the lion of the world and religion, Dawud, may his victory be glorious". (Translation by Yassir al-Tabba, 1978) Copies of translation and transcription in Curatorial file.

Translation by Martinovitch "is not good. It gives name and titles of Sultan al-Malik al-Mu'ayyad Dawud, Rasulid of Yaman, reigned 696-721 AH, 1297-1321 AD. Artist's name: 'Engraved by Ahmad b. Husain of Mosul, in Cairo'". (Old information, source unknown)

Martinovitch's translation: (interior) "Glory to our Master, the Sultan, the King al-Mu'ayyad, the Wise, the just, the Fighter (for the Faith), the Defender (of Islam), the Glorious, Hizabr ad-Dunya wad-Din Dawud,. May his victory be glorified!"; (rim) "Glory to our Master, the Sultan, the King al-Mu'ayyad, the Wise, the Just, the Fighter (for the Faith,), the Defender (of Islam), the Glorious, Hizabr ad-Dunya wad-Din Dawud, Sultan of Islam and the Muslim, the Supporter of Justice in the World, Son of our Master, the Sultan, the King, the Victorious, Shams ad-Dunya wad-Din; Husain ibn Ahmad ibn Husain of Mosul, in Cairo (has made it)". (See pub. list, Dimand.) Artist's name is wrong.


Corrections by Dr. Abdullah Ghouchani (2008):
-Interior:"...Hijabr....."
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Atil, Esin. Renaissance of Islam : Art of the Mamluks. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981. no. 22.



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