Pilgrim Flask, Copper (tombak); cast, engraved and gilded

Pilgrim Flask

Object Name:
Pilgrim flask
17th century
Attributed to Turkey
Copper (tombak); cast, engraved and gilded
H. 8 1/4 in (21 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Alastair B. Martin, Schimmel Foundation Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Jerome A. Straka, Margaret Mushekian, and Edward Ablat Gifts, and Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1984
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 459
Imitating the shape of more portable leather prototypes, this so-called pilgrim flask is cast in copper. Originally covered in a type of gilding referred to as tombak, this piece still displays traces of its once golden sheen. Leather flasks were a standard part of equestrian equipment, and were popular among the Ottomans. Luxury examples such as this, however, probably served as emblems of rank.
[ Ahuan Islamic Art, Panama, until 1984; sold to MMA]
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 87.

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 125, ill. fig. 96 (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 87, pp. 218-219, ill. p. 219 (b/w).