Iran or Anatolia
12th century AD
copper alloy, piece-cast, with openwork decoration
The flattened spherical cistern is on three faceted legs with hoof-like feet; the ring handle is surmounted by a candle-holder; and the hinged cover is pierced, suggesting that the oil or tallow in the lamp contained scented substances which when burned might neutralise any foul odour. The central spout faces straight forward, but the gracefully curving side spouts are set directly above the front legs, conveying the impression that they are galloping away, a touch of zoomorphism which adds humour to the piece.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.97, p.93.