Dragon-Handled Jug with Inscription

Object Name: Ewer

Date: late 15th– first quarter 16th century

Geography: Attributed to present-day Afghanistan, probably Herat

Medium: Brass; cast and turned, engraved, and inlaid with silver, gold, and black organic compound

Dimensions: Ht. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Max. Diam. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Diam. of Rim: 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
Diam. of base: 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891

Accession Number: 91.1.607


Pot-bellied drinking jugs with this easily recognizable shape were a feature of the Herat school under Timurid rule in the second half of the fifteenth century, and also under the succeeding early Safavid period. The features of these jugs are the globular belly resting on a ringfoot, and the cylindrical neck separated from the body by a torus molding, and accented by the molded top. Many jugs still retain their distinctive dragon-shaped handle as well as small rounded cover. In this example, fine inlays of floral and vegetal scrolls and rows of lobed medallions decorate the surface. A blackish substance highlights the finely hatched ground. An Arabic inscription in cursive naskh contains an invocation to ’Ali.