Ewer with Lamp-Shaped Spout, Brass; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver, copper and black compound

Ewer with Lamp-Shaped Spout

Object Name:
12th century
Attributed to Iran
Brass; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver, copper and black compound
H. 6 in. (15.24 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1954
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The shape and decoration of this ewer is similar to 33.96. Both represent an early phase of the inlay technique, when areas of intricate inlay were balanced by broad zones of brass. Both bear Arabic inscriptions of good wishes to their owners, and this ewer now missing its handle is also inscribed with the maker’s name. On this piece, the central band includes pairs of animal predators and prey.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic; translation by HMcA:
-upper band on body: "Glory and prosperity and power and happiness and security and favor and good health and long life to the owner";
-above cartouche, silver-inlaid: "Its owner [is] the Shaikh, the theologian, Ahmad son of `Ali of Sistan. Made (in Abkhaz, or by Nabakar?)";
-below cartouche, in niello: "Its owner [is] Ahmad son of Muhammad ... [a later owner, no doubt]";
-lower band on body: "Good fortune, and blessing and power and joy and happiness and security and favor and good health and nobility and victory and ... and long life to the owner".
-on spout: "Blessing and power and joy and assistance".

Translation by Yasser al-Tabba (1978):
-top: "Glory, prosperity, dominion, happiness, security, wealth, health, and survival to its owner. Its owner al-Shaykh al-Faqih (the jurisprudent) Ahmad bin `Ali al Sijizi Made by Bandar";
-below central band: "Its owner Ahmad ibn Muhammad Isfahani";
-under spout: "Blessing, dominion, joy, and support";
-bottom: "With success, blessing, dominion, joy, happiness, security, wealth, health, dignity, victory, compassion, and survival to its owner".

1-In Kufic script:
و البرکة و الدو/لة و السرور و التأیید
2-In Naskhi script:
العز و الاقبال و الدولة و السعادة و السلامة و النعمة و العافیة و البقا لصاحبه
3- صاحبه الشیخ الفقیه احمد بن علي السجزي عمل پایدار
4- ]In Naskhi script- added latter:
صاحبه احمد بن محمد الصفهاني
5- In Kufic script:
بالیمن و البرکة و الدولة/ و السرور و السعادة و السلامة/ و النعمة و العافیة و الکرامة/ و النصر و الرحمة و البقا لصاحبه

The inscriptions also read by Yasser a-Tabba as:
Top العز و الاقبال و الدوله و السعاده و السلامه و النعمه و البقا لصاحبه
صاحبه الشیخ الفقیه احمد بن علي السجزي عمل باندار
صاحبه احمد بن محمد اصفهاني
Under spout بالیمن و البرکه و الدوله/ و السرور و السعاده و السلامه/ و النعمه و العافیه و الکرامه/ و النصره و الرحمه و البقا لصاحبه
Eugene Mutiaux, Paris; [ Khalil Rabenou, New York, until 1954; sold to MMA]
Palm Beach, FL. The Society of the Four Arts. "Loan to the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Fl," February 2, 1962–February 27, 1962, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making the Invisible Visible," April 2, 2013–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Flood, Finbarr Barry, and Gulru Necipoglu. "Volume 1. From the Prophets to the Mongols." In A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture. vol. I. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2017. pp. 434–35, ill. fig. 17.1 (b/w).