Ayyubids on a Ewer, Jazirah, 1246-1247



Large images of the scenes on the body of the ewer:
A hunter
Musicians
A mamluk horse-archer
A ruler, supplicant and sword-bearer
A horse & hunters
A ruler & his guards
Medallions of the Shoulder of the Ewer
Artist: Yunus ibn Yusuf, "al-naqqash al-Mawsili"
Year: 1246-1247 (AH 644)
Material: brass with silver inlay
Accession Number: 54.456
Dimensions: 44.5 x 31.8 x 16.5 cm
Origin: Mosul, Iraq (?)

In a notable artistic innovation, medieval Islamic artisans used precious metals- gold, silver, and copper- to decorate bronze and brass objects. The richly decorated surface of this ewer features multiple bands of Arabic inscriptions and scalloped medallions enclosing musicians, enthroned figures, hunters, and other scenes characteristic of medieval Islamic art. The presence of the artist's signature here is noteworthy since the medieval Islamic artisan generally remained anonymous. Yunus ibn Yusuf styles himself al-naqqash, or decorator, probably signifying that he was responsible for executing the inlaid designs. He also ends his name al-Mawsili, meaning "from Mosul," a famous metalworking center in northern Iraq. However, Yunus ibn Yusuf could just as easily have been working in Syria, where metal workshops produced similar inlaid vessels during the 13th century.
Source: The Walters



Referenced as figure 307 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle

307. Inlaid metal ewer by Yūsuf al Mawsilī 1246-47 AD, Jazīrah, Walters Art Gallery no. 54.456, Baltimore.
pp453-4: Oddly enough there seem to be more illustrations of mamluk horse-archers from the later Ayyubid eras, in the 13th century, than from the days of Salah ad Din himself. Their equipment would appear to have been fairly standardized, with a minority wearing heavy armour and riding horses possibly with bards and chanfrons (Figs. 129, 291, 300, 304, 307, 308 and 651).



Referenced as figures 10 to 20 in G. D. Guest and R. Ettinghausen, "The Iconography of a Kāshān Luster Plate," Ars Orientalis 4, 1961, pp. 25-64.



See also:
Ayyubid Horse Archer on a Pilgrim Bottle (zamzamiyyah) Fragment, 12th-13th Century
Illustrations of Ayyubids on the Blacas Ewer, Mosul, 1232 AD
Ayyubid Hunters on a Canister, 1238-40
Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Egyptian/Syrian Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers




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