Description In a notable artistic innovation, medieval Islamic artisans used precious metals - gold, silver, and copper - to decorate bronze and brass objects. The richly decorated surface of this ewer features multiple bands of Arabic inscriptions and scalloped medallions enclosing musicians, enthroned figures, hunters, and other scenes characteristic of medieval Islamic art. The presence of the artist's signature here is noteworthy since the medieval Islamic artisan generally remained anonymous. Yunus ibn Yusuf styles himself al-naqqash, or decorator, probably signifying that he was responsible for executing the inlaid designs. He also ends his name al-Mawsili, meaning "from Mosul," a famous metalworking center in northern Iraq. However, Yunus ibn Yusuf could just as easily have been working in Syria, where metal workshops produced similar inlaid vessels during the 13th century.
Cleaned to reduce silver tarnish in preparation for exhibition.
|10/27/2015||Examination||Cleaned for exhibition|
- Exhibition of Persian Art. Iranian Institute, New York. 1940.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
- Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 2016.
- Excursions through the Collection: Portraiture, Adornment, and the Natural World. 2019-2020.
Provenance Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1917, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Yunus ibn Yusuf al-naqqash al Mawsili; [Date] A.H. 644; [Translation] Glory to our lord, the sultan, the royal.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1917
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