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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
  • Description

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    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

  • Provenance

    Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
444607:1

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