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A LARGE MAMLUK SILVER INLAID BRASS CIRCULAR TRAY
A LARGE MAMLUK SILVER INLAID BRASS CIRCULAR TRAY

EGYPT OR SYRIA, AL-NASIR MUHAMMAD PERIOD, 1293-1341 AD

Details
A LARGE MAMLUK SILVER INLAID BRASS CIRCULAR TRAY
EGYPT OR SYRIA, AL-NASIR MUHAMMAD PERIOD, 1293-1341 AD
Of flat circular form with slightly inverted short vertical sides, the interior with a central cusped roundel of dense foliage around four whorls, within a band of very elegant thuluth inscription on a floral ground interrupted by ogival cartouches containing floral or bird-motifs, each issuing bold paired split palmettes above and below, the exterior of the rim with a band of chasing animals including a griffin and a rhinoceros rotating with panels of honorific inscription and panels of meandering leafy vine, rubbed, very little silver remaining, lacquered
22¾in. (57.7cm.) diam.
Provenance
Edward Falkener, circa 1944 and thence by descent, until sold in these Rooms, 25 April 1997, lot 269

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Romain Pingannaud
Romain Pingannaud

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Lot Essay

The inscription reads: Al-maqarr al-karim al-'ali al-mawlawi , al-maliki al-'alimi al-'amili , al-ghazi al-mujahidi al-murabiti a- , l-muthagiri al-mu'ayyadi al-'adadi al-dhakhiri , al-nasir al-kafili al-humami al-niza- , mi al-ghiyathi al-maliki al-nasiri (His Excellency the Noble, Exalted, Lordly, Kingly, Learned, Virtuous, he who fights God's cause, the Defender of the Frontiers, succoured by God, the Supporter, Courageous, Powerful, he who fasts, Heroic, Ordered, the Ally, [the amir of] al-Malik al-Nasir).

The bands of calligraphy on the exterior read: al-maqarr al-karim al-'ali al-mawlawi al-maliki al-'alimi al-'amili al-kafili(?) al-ghazi , al-mujahidi al-murabiti al-nizami al-a'izzi al-mu'ayyadi al-[a]mir al-nasiri al-maliki al-nasiri (His Excellency the Noble, Exalted, Lordly, Kingly, Learned, Virtuous, he who fights God's cause, the Defender of the Grontiers, succoured by God, Orderly, Glorious, Supporter, the Amir victorious of al-Malik al-Nasir).

The decorative repertoire on this tray is remarkably similar to that of a basin in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait (Jenkins, M.(ed.), The al-Sabah Collection - Islamic Art in the Kuwait National Museum, London, 1983, ill. p.94). The band of strong thuluth interrupted by ogival roundels each of which issues pairs of bold split palmettes above and below are identical in each. Only the content of the inscription varies, although both were made for amirs of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad. They were certainly made in the same workshop and very possibly for the same amir. A basin of very similar form and decoration to that in the al-Sabah Collection was made for the Amir Bahadur-As (ob. 730/1330) (G. Wiet, Catalogue Général du Musée Arabe du Caire, Objets en Cuivre, Cairo, 1932, pl.XXXVIII).
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