Container "Mamluk"


Middle East, late 19th century, private collection from Finland.

The Mamluks were slave soldiers who earned their freedom and became rulers of a dynasty which lasted from approx. 1250AD to 1500AD. That period was highly influental for Islamic art. Metalware of the era is recognizable by repeated cartouches, medallions and chain patterns encircling the pieces which are also characterized by copper and silver inlay. The Mamluk style was revived in the 19th century for production of "historical artefacts" to sell to the Grand Tour travelers who sought them as souvenirs.

This small Mamluk revival brass and silver container are absolutely gorgeous. Beautifully hand-crafted container with conical lid. The crafting of this stunning piece was difficult and required several stages or mastery. Once the vessel was hammered and soldered into shape, the geometrical patterns were drawn onto it. Then those designs were carved and engraved by hand. Finally the silver and copper pieces were precisely hammered into the carved areas. Good condition. Conical lid is close-fitting.  Age-related wear. Dirt, dust and soot. Beautiful dark patina. Size approx. 16,0cm x 10,0cm. Weight c. 498g.