This early 14th Century Mamluk brazier is a remarkable example of early cast openwork decoration. An earlier brazier of smaller size in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is of a very similar square shape with curved horseshoe-shaped finials and corner double-knop finials which are also almost identical to those attached to our own brazier, (91.1.540). The example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is inscribed with the name of the Sultan al-malik al-muzaffar shams al-din yusuf ibn 'umar and dated to the second half of the 13th Century.
The openwork decoration on our brazier however indicates that it was produced at a slightly later date. The main door of the madrasa of Amir Inal al-Yusifi in Cairo, completed in 1392-93 AD, is faced with a large bronze openwork medallion which is very similar to the design on the openwork panels on our brazier, (Luitgard E. M. Mols, Mamluk Metalwork Fittings in their Artistic and Architectural Context, Delft, 2006, pls. 99-101, p. 414). Each of them has very similar curved scrolling foliage and in particular each includes pairs of addorsed cusped leaf shapes. In addition they both have circular bolts incorporated into the design. This late 14th Century brazier is a rare large example of a Mamluk object with cast openwork decoration of a very high standard.