Historical period(s)
Ayyubid period, Reign of Sultan Najmal-Din Ayyub, 1247-1249
Medium
Brass, inlaid with silver
Dimensions
H x W x D: 22.5 x 50 x 50 cm (8 7/8 x 19 11/16 x 19 11/16 in)
Geography
Syria, Probably Damascus
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1955.10
On View Location
Freer Gallery 04: Engaging the Senses: Art in the Islamic World
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Basin

Keywords
Ayyubid period (1171 - 1250), chasing, hammering, inlay, kufic script, Lathe work, naskh script, Syria, turning, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Raphael Stora active 1937-1963?

Label

Inscriptions on the interior and exterior of this extraordinary basin suggest that it was created during the reign of Sultan al-Malik al-Salih Najmuddin Ayyub, the last Ayyubid ruler, who reigned during the 1230s and 1240s. The work is particularly notable for its elaborate decoration which includes both Islamic and Christian themes. On the exterior, a wide inscription band depicts scenes from the life of Christ: the Annunciation, the Virgin and Child enthroned, the Raising of Lazarus, the Entry into Jerusalem, and perhaps the Last Supper. Some of the other motifs on the exterior consists of a lively polo game and a band of real and imaginary animals, punctuated by medallions with musicians. On the interior, a row of thirty-nine saints stands under ogival arches. Whether commissioned by a Muslim or Christian patron, the combination implies religious tolerance in thirteenth-century Ayyubid Syria.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 120, fig. 81.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 18, p. 137.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 27, pp. 64-68.
  • Gaston Migeon. Exposition des Arts Musulmans: au Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Exh. cat. Paris. pls. 11-12.
  • Eva Baer. Metalwork in Medieval Islamic Art. Albany. pp.120-1,149,182, fig. 100, 126.
  • Eva Baer. Ayyubid Metalwork with Christian Images. Studies in Islamic Art and Architecture Leiden and New York. .
  • , Eva Baer, David Nicolle, Barbara Schmitz, Oliver Watson. The Art of the Saljuqs in Iran and Anatolia. Costa Mesa, CA. p. 218, fig. 215.
  • Stefano Bianca. Syria: Medieval Citadels Between East and West. Turin. p. 35, fig. 25.
  • Calendar of Exhibitions. vol. 16, no. 9 Hong Kong, September 1985. p. 63.
  • Ulker Erginsoy. Islam Maden Sanatinin Gelismesi (The Development of the Art of Metalwork in Islam). Istanbul. figs. 156a-c.
  • Richard Ettinghausen O. Graber. The Art and Architecture of Islam, 650-1250. The Pelican History of Art Hammondsworth, Middlesex, England and New York. p. 371, fig. 392.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 1174.
  • Patrick Frank. Prebles' Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts., 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ. fig. 288.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. The Freer Gallery of Art. Washington. p. 14.
  • Yousif Mahmud Ghulam. The Art of Arabic Calligraphy., 2nd edition, revised and updated by the author. Lafayette, CA. pp. 186-199.
  • , Eric Delpont, Aurelie Fauret, Yannis Koikas. L'Orient de Saladin: L'Art des Ayyoubides. Exh. cat. Paris, October 23, 2001 - March 10, 2002. p. 129.
  • October Events at the Smithsonian: Smithsonian Highlights. vol. 16, no. 7 Washington, October 1985. p. 225.
  • Ranee A. Katzenstein Glenn D. Lowry. Christian Themes in Thirteenth-Century Islamic Metalwork. vol. 1 Leiden, 1983. pp. 54-66, pls. 3-4.
  • Repertoire Chronologique d'Epigraphie Arabe. cat. 3977.
  • D.S. Rice. Studies in Islamic Metalwork, II. no. 15. p. 572, pl. 9b.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre F. R. Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. pp. 6-8, pl. 147.
  • Laura Schnieder. Freer Canteen. vol. 9 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 137-156, pl. 6, fig. 19.
  • Janine Sourdel-Thomine. Die Kunst des Islam. Propyläen-Kunstgeschichte Berlin. fig. 38.
  • Treasure House of the Middle East. vol. 8, no. 19 Beirut, May 9, 1957. p. 11.
  • Rachel Ward. Islamic Metalwork. Eastern Art Series London. pp. 52-3, 85, fig. 35, 64.
  • p. 222, fig. 70 and plate 70.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum