late 15th century
brass or bronze, cast, spun on a lathe, chased and inlaid with gold and silver; handle cast
13.1 x 14.5cm
The Persian inscriptions on the neck and the body of this vessel include an invocation to ‘Ali and prayers for the well-being of the owner from the mid-10th century poet, Daqiqi, the Bustan of Sa‘di and the Shahnamah of Firdawsi. Underneath is a signature, possibly that of a craftsman, ‘The needy Shaykh Vali’.
Dated metal mugs with dragon-handles are practically all from the reign of the Timurid ruler of Herat, Husayn Bayqara (r 1470–1505). They represent the final phase of the drinking vessels with such handles which first appear in the Eurasian steppes with the coming of the Mongols.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.229, pp.190–91.