Some of the silver inlay fallen out, especially on the spout and the widest part of the body. Modern lead reinforcement of foot rim.

Artist: Qasim ibn Ali
Historical period(s)
Ayyubid period, June-July 1232
Brass with silver inlay
H x W x D: 36.7 x 21.3 x 21.3 cm (14 7/16 x 8 3/8 x 8 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 03: Engaging the Senses
Metalwork, Vessel


Ayyubid period (1171 - 1250), naskh script, Syria
Provenance research underway.

Some of the silver inlay fallen out, especially on the spout and the widest part of the body. Modern lead reinforcement of foot rim.


Naskhi inscription on the foot and at the base of the neck


Unlike most thirteenth century metalwares from Syria decorated with figural themes, this large and elegant ewer is only embellished with floral motifs and inscriptions.  The unusual choice of decoration may reflect the particular taste of the patron, whose name appears on the ewer. He was Shihab al-Din Tughrul, a Turkish commander who served as regent in Aleppo in northern Syria on behalf of Sultan al-Malik al-Aziz (reigned 1216-37) of the Ayyubid dynasty. The ewer was probably reserved for religious ablution rites for which non-representational decoration was considered more appropriate.

Published References
  • Repertoire Chronologique d'Epigraphie Arabe. cat. 4302.
  • Louis Hautecoeur, Gaston Wiet. Les Mosquées du Caire. 2 vols., Paris. vol. 1: p. 90.
  • Urdu Encyclopedia of Islam. vol. 1: pp. 597-607, pl. 3.
  • Eva Baer. Ayyubid Metalwork with Christian Images. Studies in Islamic Art and Architecture Leiden and New York. cat. 30, pp. 4, 22.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Zwei Mosulbronzen und ihr Meister. vol. 60, no. 1 Berlin. pp. 10, 12, fig. 9.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Metalwork from Islamic Countries: Rackham Building, Februrary 25-March 11, 1943. Exh. cat. Ann Arbor. cat. 46, p. 13, pl. 8.
  • Douglas Barrett. Islamic Metalwork in the British Museum. London. p. 14.
  • Gaston Wiet. Catalogue Général du Musée Arabe du Caire: Objets en Cuivre. Cairo. cat. 15, 20, 42, pp. 19, 23, 171.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 26, pp. 61-63.
  • D.S. Rice. Studies in Islamic Metalwork, II. no. 15. pp. 66-69, pls. 10-11.
  • L.A. Mayer. Islamic Metalworkers and Their Works. Geneva. pp. 78-79.
  • Gaston Wiet. L'Exposition Persane de 1931. Exh. cat. Cairo, 1932-1933. p. 79.
  • Eva Baer. Metalwork in Medieval Islamic Art. Albany. pp. 99, 140, fig. 76.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 16, p. 117.
  • , Eric Delpont, Aurelie Fauret, Yannis Koikas. L'Orient de Saladin: L'Art des Ayyoubides. Exh. cat. Paris, October 23, 2001 - March 10, 2002. p. 130.
  • Laura Schnieder. Freer Canteen. vol. 9 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 137-156, pl. 7, fig. 20.
  • Marilyn Stokstad. Medieval Art., 2nd ed. Boulder. p. 148.
  • Marilyn Jenkins-Medina. Raqqa Revisited: Ceramics of Ayyubid Syria. New York and New Haven. p. 180.
  • D.S. Rice. Inlaid Brasses from the Workshop of Ahmad al-Dhaki al-Mawsili. vol. 2. pp. 286, 325-26.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, O. Graber. The Art and Architecture of Islam, 650-1250. The Pelican History of Art Hammondsworth, United Kingdom and New York. p. 371, fig. 393.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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