On the front of the shoulder a silver inlaid inscription reads amal-e Abi Nasr (The work of Abi Nasr).
The main copper-inlaid inscription reads, with slight errors: b'il-yumn wa al-baraka wa al-salama wa al-surur (With good-fortune and blessing and peace and joy). The fine band around the collar contains further benedictory inscriptions.
This ewer is very similar in form and decorative layout to a magnificent example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (M. Abu'l-Faraj al-'Ush, "A Bronze Ewer with a high Spout in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Analagous Pieces", in Richard Ettinghausen (ed.), Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1972, pp.187-198). The most obvious difference is that in the Metropolitan Museum example the main inscription around the body is raised proud of the body while in the present one it is flush, but inlaid in copper. The article introduced a third example in the National Museum of Damascus which divided the main inscription with large roundels, but had a very similar band of inscription both in style and content running around the collar. The New York ewer is signed in a similar place to ours. Although it is difficult to read, the maker's name appears to read Al-Qasir; it cannot be read as Abi Nasr, at least in the photograph. The Damscus ewer is signed Hassan under the foot.
There are large numbers of very similar features, particularly int he treatment of the handle, and spout, the lettering of the inscription and many of the the minor motifs. All three must come from the same school. Al-'Ush notes a similar but much less elaborate example in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, and lists some more examples that are less closely related, while further ewers similar to the Berlin one one have come onto the market. Ours, with its very powerful inscription and massive proportions has all the characteristics of the very best examples of the group.