Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Mounted Hunter with Cheetah

Object Name:
Figural vessel
12th–early 13th century
Jazira (or Iran?)
Stonepaste; molded in sections, glazed in transparent turquoise, underglaze- painted in black
H. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm) W. 3 in. (7.6 cm) D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm) Wt. 24 oz. (680.5 g)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999
Specialized cheetah-keepers tamed and trained cheetahs, caracals, and other wild felines for hunting expeditions, a traditional leisure pursuit of royalty and the wealthy elite. The trained felines rode with their masters on horses and hunted animals such as hares and gazelles. Despite this horseman’s weapons (a mace and a shield), his small cheetah suggests he is a hunter. The figurine was manufactured by altering a preexisting mold of a drinker: the applied arm holding the mace covers and conceals the mold’s original, bent arm holding a cup.
[ E. Safani, New York, until 1966; sold to MMA]
Ettinghausen, Richard. "The Flowering of Seljuq Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal vol. 3 (1970). p. 126, ill. fig. 19 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 70, p. 140, ill. (color).

Khemir, Sabiha Al. Nur = Light: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World. Seville, Spain: Fundación Focus-Abengoa, 2014. p. 58.

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