12th century AD
quaternary copper alloy, hammered, worked in relief and engraved, with the neck and the handle separately cast
38 x 23.5cm
This large ewer is one of a number of globular vessels with conspicuous spouts resembling birds’ heads, but the craftsman has here allowed his fantasy full play. The openwork spout is in the form of a long-necked bearded lynx, which from the front seems to emerge from a low décolletage. There are bands of inscription, both benedictory, on the shoulders and at the base, and at mid-height a band of relief lozenges and half-lozenges. Between the two bands, the metal surface bears random, engraved foliate motifs and amorphous cross-hatched circles. The neck has concave flutes and a pair of lugs which may have secured a hood over the spout and mouth.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.93, p.91.