A MAMLUK 'VENETO-SARACENIC' SILVER AND GOLD-INLAID BRASS BOWL, SYRIA OR EGYPT, 15TH CENTURY
engraved and inlaid with silver and vestiges of gold, the underside with entwined roundels and foliate palmettes containing interlacing designs, the sides with geometric ornament interrupted by four small roundels containing alternating heraldic blazons and foliate motifs, the interior plain
The edges on the underside of the bowl with some damage and associated repairs which are visible as slightly raised metal patches, oxidisation particularly noticeable to interior, the exterior with most of silver inlay remaining although there are missing sections and rubbed areas, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Scholarly debate over the group of metalwork known as 'Veneto-Saracenic' ware has seen them attributed to both Venice and the Middle East. Perhaps, the European coats-of-arms (as seen on this example), may have further confused matters, although it is now agreed that these are Mamluk products produced for export. Although the original function of this bowl is uncertain, it may have been used as a container for spices, sweetmeats or medicinal substances. These objects, often finely worked and manifesting plural influences, reflect the extensive trade network between Renaissance Europe and the Islamic world at this time. For a full discussion of this type of bowl, see Auld 2004, pp.141-197.