Tray Made for the Rasulid Sultan al-Mu'ayyad Da'ud ibn Yusuf
early 14th century
Brass; engraved and inlaid with silver and black compound
H. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Diam. 28 in. (71.10 cm)
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
A sultan from Yemen commissioned this tray, which includes his name and titles in a large band surrounding a central medallion with the twelve signs of the zodiac and personifications of the seven planets of medieval belief (the sun, the moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus).
Inscription: Arabic, in thuluth script, and kufic (interlaced) in center; translation of thuluth script: "Glory to our Master the /Sultan, the King al-Mu'ayyad, the Wise, the Just, the Fighter (for the Faith), the Conqueror, Hizabr ad-Dunya wa'l Din Dawud. (Translation by Prof. N. Martinovitch. See pub. list, Dimand.)
Translations by Yasser al-Tabba (1978): inscription in large register in thuluth script) "Glory to our lord, the sultan, the king, the aided, the wise, the just, the fighter for the faith,the lion of the world and religion Dawud"; (inside) "Eternal life, Eternal life".
[Francesca Leoni, fellow: 06-18-08]: There is a third interlaced Kufic inscription framing the larger register which was read by Professor Ghouchani:
"Eternal life, victory, profit, good fortune, progress, and perpetual glory"; "Progress, eternal life, eternal (life), perpetual glory, victory, profit"; "Eternal glory, healthy life, future victory, eternal life, good fortune"; "Eternal life, perpetual glory, good fortune, profit, eternal life"; "Health, good fortune, profit, eternal life, perpetual glory, and good fortune"; "Eternal glory, healthy life, good fortune, profit, eternal life."
Marking: See Inscriptions.
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. 4, pp. 14-15, ill. (b/w).