Bottle with Sprinkler Top, Quaternary alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver and copper

Bottle with Sprinkler Top

Object Name:
second half 12th century
Attributed to Iran, Khurasan
Quaternary alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver and copper
H. 6 1/16 in. (15.4cm)
Max. Diam. 3 in. (7.6cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, and Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1998
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
Bottles of this form often contained bath oils. The knobs protruding from its sides (prunts) provided a grip should the bottle become slippery. The style of the birds around the top and the presence of inlaid decoration suggest a twelfth-century date. The inscription is formed of abbreviated words in Arabic, wishing the owner well.
Inscription: Arabic, silver-inlaid, set against vegetal background around shoulder of bottle; in cursive script, the inscription is benedictory and its words, such as "well-being (salama)" and "happiness (sa`ada)" seem to have been shortened rather than written in their entirety. (S. Carboni, 7/14/98)

[Francesca Leoni, Fellow, 05/02/08]:
In addition to the shortened, monosyllabe, words al-sa[lamat] wa al-sa['ad]at, there are also al-da[wlat] (power) and al-'a[zza] (glory).

In naskhi script:
Most of inscription is damage but some words remains and it seems as:
السلامة و السعاة و الدولة

[ Manouchehr Aaron, London, until 1998; sold to MMA]