Luxury Ewer Extending Good Fortune to the Owner

Ahmad al-Dhaki al-Mawsili (Iraqi, Mosul, active early 1200s?)1223

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

This silver inlaid ewer was produced for luxury clientele. The wide band around the body of the vessel displays vignettes of daily and courtly life contained within multilobed medallions. Some of the scenes feature falconry, hunting, dancing, and several groups of musicians. All these scenes are set off against a skillfully executed arabesque background—a pervasive motif in Islamic art characterized by interwoven vegetal and curvilinear elements. An inscription around the ewer’s shoulder extends good fortune, prosperity, and peace to the owner. The ewer is dated 1223 and signed by the master craftsman Ahmad al-Dhaki of Mosul.

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  • Title: Luxury Ewer Extending Good Fortune to the Owner
  • Creator: Ahmad al-Dhaki al-Mawsili (Iraqi, Mosul, active early 1200s?)
  • Date Created: 1223
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 26.6 cm (10 1/2 in.); Overall: 37.9 cm (14 15/16 in.); Diameter of base: 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Raphaël Stora [1888–1963], New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Metalwork
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1956.11
  • Medium: brass inlaid with silver; lid and base added later
  • Inscriptions: Band on the neck (naskh): "Work of Ahmad al-Thaki, the engraver, al-Mawsili, in the year 620 and glory to my owner"; band at the base of the handle (naskh): "Work of Ahmad al-Thaki al-Mawsili"; graffiti of later owners, roughly scratched into the neck of the ewer: "Husayn ibn Qasim"; "Usta al-Muhtasib [?]"; band on the shoulder of the ewer (plaited, animated kufic): "Good luck, and learning, and commanding respect, and prosperity, and pride, and generosity, and faithfulness, and affection, and glory, and survival, and justice, and blessings, and exaltedness, and prosperity, and everlasting peace, and charitable giving."; band on the foot (naskh) [foot is a later addition]; this inscription has not yet been deciphered.
  • Fun Fact: Later owners roughly scratched their names into the neck of the ewer.
  • Department: Islamic Art
  • Culture: Iraq, possibly Mosul, Zangid or Artugid Period, 13th Century
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: Islamic Art
  • Accession Number: 1956.11

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