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Dragon-Handled Jug with Inscription

Object Name:
Ewer
Date:
late 15th– first quarter 16th century
Geography:
present-day Afghanistan, probably Herat
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; cast and turned, engraved, and inlaid with silver, gold, and black organic compound
Dimensions:
Ht. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm) Max. Diam. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm) Diam. of Rim: 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm) Diam. of base: 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.607
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This elegantly-formed jug with dragon-headed handle is covered with intricate silver and gold inlay, including a minute inscription around the base of its neck. It is inscribed with an invocation to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. As the Shi'i Muslim community holds a special reverence for 'Ali, scholars have suggested that this jug may have been created in the early 16th century, for a follower of the Shi'i Safavid dynasty.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in naskhi script around molded collar:
ناد علیاً مظهر العجائبی
تجده عوناً لك في النوائبي
کل هم و غم سینجلي
بولایتك یا علي یا علي یا علي
Call upon ‘Ali, the revealer of miracles made manifest,
You will find him a comfort to you in times of misfortune
All grief and sorrows will disappear through your
O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali, O ‘Ali
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). p. 34, ill. p. 34 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 89, ill. fig. 68 (color).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 322, ill. fig. 26 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 132, pp. 171, 194-195, ill. p. 194 (color).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. New York, 2014. p. 22, ill. fig. 1 (color).



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