Historical period(s)
mid-16th century
Bronze inlaid with sliver
H x W: 32.2 x 30.2 cm (12 11/16 x 11 7/8 in)
Italy, Venice
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel


Provenance research underway.

This large bucket belongs to a group of inlaid metalware that has been the subject of considerable scholarly debate. Most of the vessels are notable for their intricately layered surface decoration combining both the engraving and inlay techniques. In the past, these vessels have been attributed to Muslim craftsmen working in mid-sixteenth-century Venice. Recent scholarship has convincingly argued against a Venetian origin, proposing that they were produced in Syria in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Made primarily for export, some of the vessels carry European coats of arms, while others are listed in European inventories. Moreover, in the sixteenth century, Venetian metalworkers began to produce their own versions of this type of ware, a testament to its persistent popularity in Europe.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 62.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 79, pp. 146-147.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 24, p. 176.
  • Sylvia Auld. Renaissance Venice, Islam and Mahmud teh Kurd: A Metalworking Enigma. London. p. 272.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World, European Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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