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Blacas ewer
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This ewer is a masterful example of medieval Islamic inlaid brass. It was made in Mosul, a city that became famous from the twelfth century onwards for its inlaid metalwork. Mosul metalworkers inlaid brass vessels with intricate courtly scenes in silver and copper to create glittering objects that were very popular with the local elite. They were often given as diplomatic gifts to neighbouring rulers.

This ewer is signed by Shujac ibn Manca, one of the best inlayers in the Mosul, and dated Rajab ah 629 (April 1232). The quality of the inlaid decoration is exceptional, and includes medallions portraying scenes of contemporary court life. These include a horseman out hunting with a cheetah seated on the rump of his horse, a lady choosing jewels from a casket held by her maid while admiring her reflection in a mirror, and a wealthy woman in a camel-litter attended by two servants.

Blacas ewer


From Mosul, northern Iraq, 629 ah/ad 1232
Ht 30.4 cm
Originally in the collection of the Duc de Blacas




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