Large Seljuk Bronze Ewer with Silver Inlay

SKU FF.125

12th Century AD to 13th Century AD


16″ (40.6cm) high x 8.25″ (21.0cm) wide




Central Asia

Gallery Location



During the Seljuk period, the arts were encouraged not only by the sultans but orders were also placed by the emirs, and the members of wealthy merchant families. Cast bronze vessels intended for everyday use were manufactured and decorated with engraving, reliefs and openwork.

Metalwork was particularly widespread with high levels of workmanship. Bronze was by far the most widely used metal during the 11th and 12th centuries.

This ewer is made of hammered bronze, a pouring spout projects from its cylindrical neck. The handle is attached from the upper part of the neck to the mid part of the body. The entire piece rests on a flaring foot. The surface is decorated with relief engraved bands with Arabic inscriptions, all benedictory – on the body, the shoulder and the neck. Inlaid floral and vegetal motifs are also used for decoration. The neck bears two embossed sitting lions with their right forepaws raised.

This ewer is a magnificent example of a group of beaten objects, inlaid with silver and sometimes with copper. It was probably designed to contain water.

The Seljuk period was perhaps one of the most creative periods in the history of the Islamic world. The arts flourished during this period, with subtle differences from one region to the next.

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