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Bowl Fragment with the Descent from the Cross
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Bowl Fragment with the Descent from the Cross

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This shard fits with two others, now at the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo (inv. 13724) and at the Benaki Museum in Athens (inv. 823). As part of a composition of the Descent from the Cross, it shows Joseph of Arimathea ready to receive Christ's dead body taken down for burial. The bowl from which the dispersed pieces come is one of a kind. Discovered in Egypt, it was probably made there for use in a local Christian church. Remarkably, its technique and style closely resemble Islamic pottery from the same period.

The surface was cleaned using dilute ammonia on a swab. Two small chips along the broken edge of the fragment were consolidated prior to travel and loan.

Date Description Narrative
1/05/2015TreatmentStabilized for loan
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Museum of Biblical Art, New York; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
  • A Cosmopolitan Community: Muslims, Christians, & Jews in Old Cairo. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago. 2015.
Provenance Moritz Sobernheim, Berlin, prior to 1914, by purchase; Clara Schiff Sobernheim, Berlin, Germany and Port Chester, New York, 1933, by inheritance; Rudolf Sobernheim, Washington D.C., 1952, by gift; Barbara R. Sobernheim, Washington D.C., 1994, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1996, by gift.
Credit Gift of Barbara R. Sobernheim in memory of Professor Moritz Sobernheim, 1996

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2nd half 13th century (Medieval)
fritware with underglaze painting
Accession Number
H: 4 1/8 × W: 3 15/16 × D: 1 9/16 in. (10.4 × 10 × 4 cm)
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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