Footed Bowl with Eagle Emblem

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199

Vessels of this characteristic shape, a rounded bowl with a pronounced, tall foot, were sometimes called tazze and were thought to evoke Christian chalices. They became popular in the Islamic eastern Mediterranean during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period of active exchange between the Islamic and Christian worlds. This piece is among the earliest known examples of enameled glass. Its ornament and iconography is part of the "courtly cycle" referring to the lifestyle of the rulers and elites of medieval Islamic societies from Egypt to Anatolia.

The design features four circular medallions with a bird of prey. While no particular ruler or officer can be associated with the emblem, such birds of prey were common symbols of power, kingship, and to a certain extent, protection in both Muslim and Christian contexts. Flanking the inscription band and on the foot, rows of dogs chasing hares evoke the hunt, while a frieze of seated musicians and feasting figures replaces part of the inscription. Both the hunt and the feast pertain to the courtly cycle and evoke ideals of kingship.

Footed Bowl with Eagle Emblem, Glass; dip-molded, blown, enameled, and gilded

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