Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Inkwell with Floral and Animal Imagery

Object Name:
16th century
Attributed to Iran
Brass; lid cast, body worked, engraved, and chased, inlaid with silver
H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1941
Accession Number:
41.120a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This cylindrical dawat (inkwell) with a domed lid once fit into a metal penbox, where it was secured by a line of soldering along its seam. Inlaid silver forms the primary decoration of floral vines and animals, and engraved and chased floral patterns occupy the background. A piercing in the lid suggests that a ring may have once eased the opening and closing of the inkwell. Referenced in Persian poetry and histories as early as the tenth century, cylindrical inkwells with domed lids were produced in great numbers in twelfth to sixteenth century Iran.
Paul Garnier, Paris (by 1903–at least 1907); Sarah Green Walters (American), Baltimore (until 1941; to Brummer); [ Brummer Gallery, New York, 1941; sold to MMA]
Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "Exposition des Arts Muselmans," 1903, pl. XX.

New York. Asia Society. "Shah Abbas and the Arts of Isfahan," October 11, 1973–December 2, 1973, no. 39.

Boston. Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums. "Shah Abbas and the Arts of Isfahan," January 19, 1974–February 19, 1974, no. 39.

Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 88.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament, Part IV: Figural Representation," September 16, 1999–January 30, 2000, no catalogue.

Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Louvre Long Term Loan," April 28, 2004–April 27, 2006, no catalogue.

Migeon, Gaston. Exposition des Arts Musulmans au Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Paris: E. Levy, 1903. ill. pl. 20 (b/w).

Migeon, Gaston. "Les Arts Plastiques et Industriels." In Manuel d'Art Musulman. vol. 2. Paris: Alphonse Picard et Fils, 1907. pp. 205, 214, ill. fig. 175 (b/w).

Welch, Anthony, ed. Shah 'Abbas and the Arts of Isfahan. Cambridge and New York: Asia House Gallery, 1973. no. 39, pp. 56-57, 70, ill. p. 56 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 88, pp. 214-215, ill. p. 215 (b/w).

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