126
126
A fine Mamluk silver-inlaid cast brass bowl, Egypt or Syria, first half 14th century
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 333,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
126
A fine Mamluk silver-inlaid cast brass bowl, Egypt or Syria, first half 14th century
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 333,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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London

A fine Mamluk silver-inlaid cast brass bowl, Egypt or Syria, first half 14th century
of deep rounded form decorated with an elegant silver-inlaid thuluth inscription on a foliate ground separated by four roundels containing a central palmette surrounded by small florets and leaves, centre of the interior with florette, old collection number to underside of bowl 3956 Rim GERAS
15cm. height; 30.5cm. max. diam. 
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Provenance

Aton Exner (1882-1952), Austria.
Walter Exner (1911-2003), Austria.
By Descent.
Austrian Private collection (2014-2017).

Aton Exner was an Austrian publisher who donated most of his collection (over two thousand works, mainly from Asia) to the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna, in 1948.

Catalogue Note

inscriptions

'The high imam…/ fortune of the world…/ the bringer of justice, the defender of the borders/ the assisted by God, officer of al-Malik al-Nasir'

This bowl is an exceptional example of Mamluk metalwork. The inscription contains formulaic phrases and blessings ending with ‘officer of al-Malik al-Nasir’. Most probably commissioned by a high-ranking officer at the Mamluk court, the title may refer to two Sultans: Sultan al-Malik al-Nasir [Muhammad ibn Qalawun] (r.1294-1341) or Sultan al-Nasir abu al-Ma’ali Badr al-Din al-Hasan (r.1347-61).

The shape of the present bowl, with rounded, inward sloping sides and a vertical rim, can be compared to an example in the Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples, inv. no.799 (illustrated in Eredita’ dell’Islam: Arte Islamica in Italia, Venice, 1993, pp.310, no.178). Another is in the Galleria e Museo Estense, Modena, inv. no.2062 (ibid, p.308, no.175). A closely related bowl in the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (inv. no.AKM610), also features a silver inlaid thuluth inscription with benedictory citations that mentions an officer of al-Malik al-Nasir (Spirit & Life, Masterpieces of Islamic Art from the Aga Khan Museum Collection, exh. cat., Geneva, 2007, p.185, no.158). A further close comparable is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (inv. no.2010.218), attributed to the reign of Nasir al-Din Muhammad ibn Qalawun.

The combination of formulaic inscriptions with more organic floral details is typical of Mamluk art, and can be seen on works of various media, including metal, glass, and on architectural monuments. For example, a basin in the David Collection, Copenhagen (inv. no.Isl 223) attributed to the fourteenth century, was blown in the same shape and decorated in enamel with a calligraphic inscription and lotus flowers.

A gold and silver-inlaid brass dish embazoned with the name of Sultan Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un was sold in these rooms, 28 April 2004, lot 105. An armorial candlestick made for the standard bearer of al-Malik al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un, attributed to circa 1317, was sold in these rooms, 5 October 2010, A Princely Collection: Treasures from the Islamic World, lot 92.

Arts of the Islamic World

|
London