This ewer is a particularly well-proportioned example of a known but rare type. Similar vessels are in the British Museum (Rachel Ward, Islamic Metalwork, London, 1993, pl.48), two in the Islamic Museum, Cairo (Eva Baer, Metalwork in Mediaeval Islamic Art, Albany, NY, 1983, pl.69, p.91), and in the Keir Collection (Géza Fehérvári, Islamic Metalwork of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century in the Keir Collection, London, 1977, no.3, pp.33-4 and pl.2a) and elsewhere including one in the Gillot Collection in our Paris salerooms 4 March 2008, lot 5. Earlier publications have traditionally dated the group to the Umayyad period (7th-8th centuries) but more recently Rachel Ward suggested a 10th-11th century dating. The place of origin was also discussed by Eva Baer without coming to a conclusion, examples having been found in North East Iran as well as in Egypt. The present variation with the notches in the shoulder, the band midway up the neck and the rounded feet is very close indeed to one of those found in Egypt and published by Baer.