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Basin Inscribed with Honorifics in Arabic Thuluth Script

Arts of the Islamic World

Following the fall of the Fatimid Dynasty in 1171 master potters left Cairo in search of more favorable environments, which they found in Syria and later in Iran. With the advent of Salah al-Din, known in the West as Saladin, in the mid-twelfth century, the Ayyubid Dynasty gained control of most of the Levant and Egypt. This change of regime marked the end of Shiism in Egypt, and with the return to Sunnism began a trend away from the highly naturalistic forms of Fatimid art. In the wake of the takeover by the Mamluk Dynasty in Egypt and the Levant in the mid-thirteenth century a remarkable school of metalworkers began to produce large-scale brass and bronze objects for the Mamluk rulers and their many viziers. Majestic calligraphy, heraldic blazons, and sumptuous inlaying with silver and copper are among the hallmarks of the distinctive metalwork of the Mamluks.

MEDIUM Brass, incised, punched, and inlaid with silver
DATES mid 14th century
DYNASTY Mamluk
DIMENSIONS 7 1/16 x 16 15/16 in. (18 x 43 cm) Base (diam): 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS In Arabic, Read by Abdullah Ghouchani
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 73.94.4
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson
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