Ewer with a Feline-Shaped Handle

Object Name: Ewer

Date: 7th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Bronze; cast, chased, and inlaid with copper

Dimensions: Max. H. 19 1/8 in. (48.5 cm); Max. Diam. 8 1/4 in. (21.1 cm)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1947

Accession Number: 47.100.90


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.