late 12th or early 13th century AD
quaternary copper alloy, cast, engraved and inlaid with silver
11 x 10cm
Both inside and out, the decoration is extraordinarily elaborate. Outside are three groups of five roundels composed of a mounted warrior surrounded by four of the 12 signs of the zodiac, each with its planetary domicile. The remaining space is filled with figures of musicians and drinkers. Inside, it bears a frieze of processing animals, with a frieze of quails on the recessed side. Underneath is another frieze of processing winged monsters with animal-headed tails broken by three blank roundels. The lid has a frieze of alternating warriors in roundels and figures seated cross-legged holding cups on the top and a band of processing animals on the sides. The base bears a large roundel of a mounted hunter, surrounded by a frieze of winged monsters.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.114, p.103.