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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ewer with Calligraphic Band

Object Name:
12th century
Attributed to Iran
Bronze; cast relief, engraved, inlaid with silver
Gr. H. 11 5/8 in. (29.52 cm) Diam. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Frederick P. Huntley Bequest, 1959
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
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.
Inscription: 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:

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
[ E. Safani, New York, until 1959; sold to MMA]
Asia Society. "Iranian Ceramics," May 3, 1963–September 12, 1963, no. 64.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Calligraphy West of China," March 15, 1972–May 7, 1972, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Celestial Pen: Islamic Calligraphy," September 28, 1982–February 7, 1983, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part I: Calligraphy," February 26, 1998–June 28, 1998, no catalogue.

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

"The Recent Accessions Room." Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulltin vol. 18 (1960). p. 269, ill. fig. 1 (b/w).

Wilkinson, Charles K. Iranian Ceramics. New York: Asia House Gallery, 1963. no. 64, pp. 7, 132, ill. pl. 64 (b/w).

Abu-l Faraj al-'Ush, M. "A bronze ewer with a high spout in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and analogous pieces." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. pp. 187-90, ill. figs. 1-5f (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Islamic Art and Architecture 650–1250. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. 166, ill. fig. 253 (b/w), Comparable ewers in terms of shape and style and attributed to the 12th century are in the Keir Collection(Fehervari 1976, p. 62, no. 51) the National Museum of Damascus (inv. no. 15381) .

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