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Ewer with calligraphic band

Object Name:
Ewer
Date:
12th century
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Bronze; cast relief, engraved, inlaid with silver
Dimensions:
Gr. H. 11 5/8 in. (29.52 cm) Diam. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Purchase, Frederick P. Huntley Bequest, 1959
Accession Number:
59.53
  • Description

    Traces of silver in the incisions of the calligraphic bands make this ewer one of the earliest examples of the twelfth-century development of metalwork inlay that took place in eastern Iran and Afghanistan. The inscriptions convey good wishes in Arabic for the owner.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Arabic, in Kufic script; translations:

    Translation by Yassir al-Tabba (1978):
    -main inscription: "With auspiciousness, continuing blessing, and perfect joy to its owner";
    -around neck: "With auspiciousness, continuing blessing, and joy";
    -upper body: "Blessing to its owner, Glory and blessing to its owner";
    -around foot: "With auspiciousness, continuing blessing, perfect joy ... dominion";
    -back of handle: "With auspiciousness".

    [Francesca Leoni, Fellow: 04-08-08]:
    Mr. Ghouchani looked at the inscription and modified a part of its reading. He also suggests that on the shoulder there might be the name of the owner, of whom he gave a tentative reading. An updated transcription is in the curatorial files.
    New translation:
    -main inscription: "With auspiciousness, blessing, prosperity, joy, and perfection to its owner";
    -around neck: "With auspiciousness, blessing, perfection and joy";
    -upper body: "Blessing to its owner, 'Abd (?) Allah al-Muzaffar (?), blessing to its owner";
    -around foot: "With auspiciousness, blessing, prosperity, joy, perfection, and courage";
    -back of handle: "With auspiciousness".

    Large inscription in kufic script on body:
    بالیمن و البرکة و النامیة و السرور و الکاملة لصاحبة
    Around foot in kufic script:
    بالیمن و البرکة و النامیة و السرور و الکاملة و الشجاعة
    On the shoulder in kuficscript:
    برکة لصاحبه [بر]کة لصاحبه عبدالله المصفر
    Around the neck in kufic script:
    بالیمن و البرکة و التامة و السرور
    On the handle in kufic script:
    بالیمن
    A.Ghouchani

    The inscriptions also read by Yassir al-Tabba as:
    Main unscription لصاحبه [sic] بالیمن و البرکة و الباقیة و السرور الکامله
    Around neck بالیمن و البرکة الباقیة و السرور الکا...
    Upper body برکة لصاحبه العز و برکة لصاحبه
    Around foot و الدولة و و السـ... [sic] بالیمن و البرکة و الباقیة و السرور الکامله
    Back of handle بالیمن

  • Provenance

    [ E. Safani, New York, until 1959; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451486:10

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