VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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BOWL
14898 -19322 MNAOR
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The bowl is a very good example of Mamluk metalwork. It has a very interesting decoration, consisting of a wide band, interrupted by medallions, made up of a series of scrolls bearing inscriptions in Mamluk nashki characters (thuluth). The rest of the decoration shows motifs such as flying phoenixes and peonies, peculiar to Mamluk metalwork. The inscriptions are also very interesting -- they show an example of the titles used in Mamluk protocol for objects intended for high-ranking individuals, such as ‘al-mawlawî’ (the Master), ‘al-mâlikî’ (the Sovereign), ‘al-maqarr…al-âli’ (High Excellency), ‘al-amîri’ (the Amir) , ‘al-âdilî’ (the Just), and ‘al-mâmâlk’ (the Mamluk). At the bottom of the inside of the bowl there is a particularly interesting motif made up of a series of fish in a whirlpool pattern. This is a very common decorative element in Islamic metalwork and, particularly, during the Mamluk period.

History of the Object
The bowl probably belonged to an unknown high-ranking official of the sovereign’s court.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Brass inlaid with gold and silver 
Measurements
Diameter 20cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Syria; Egypt 
Geography
Syria 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
14th Century; C.E., 8th c. A.H 
Function
Water container 
Acquisition
Purchased in 1989 by the National Museum of Oriental Art on behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Giuseppe Tucci National Museum of Oriental Art 
Museum
Giuseppe Tucci National Museum of Oriental Art 
Credit line
 

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