Islamic Bronze Ewer

SKU LK.033
Circa

1100 AD to 1300 AD

Dimensions

10.23″ (26.0cm) high

Medium

Bronze

Origin

Central Asia

Gallery Location

UK


 

Metalwork in the Near East and Central Asia has always enjoyed a prestige beyond that of other applied arts such as ceramics and textiles. Major pieces were specially commissioned and often bear dedications to the princes and great nobles for whom they were made. The best pieces of this period were in bronze, either engraved, inlaid, overlaid or beaten in repousse, that is designs hammered out from behind to appear in relief on the surface. The roots of Islamic metalwork are to be found in Byzantium and Persia. In the early 7th century the Arabs took over these two great empires and absorbed local metalwork techniques and typologies and contributed to a new development in metalwork by adding inscriptions in Kufic script.

This is a pear-shaped ewer standing on a rather high sloping foot with a simple raised collar at the base of the neck. The exterior body is engraved with a delicate row of arabesque and geometric circular motifs. It is attached to a simple undulated strap handle with a bold palmette. The quality of the engraving and the patterns featured on this ewer would seem to indicate a 12th-13th century dating and a Transoxania provenance.

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