Ewer with a Feline-Shaped Handle

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451

This ewer demonstrates a continuation of Parthian and Sasanian forms during the early Islamic period in Iran. The lobed forms represent mountains and the vertical lines surmounted by budlike shapes are probably plants. Its overall composition and motifs demonstrate the transition from a figural style to a growing taste for rhythmic repeating patterns. The handle is shaped like an elongated cat peering at the heads of two birds depicted on the rim of the vessel, as though about to pounce.

Ewer with a Feline-Shaped Handle, Bronze; cast, chased, and inlaid with copper

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