Lidded jug, cast brass, engraved and inlaid with silver and gold
Afghanistan, Herat; Jumada al-akhira 918 H = August 14, 1512
H: 16.5 cm
A number of jugs of this type from Timurid Iran have been preserved, and although there is a slightly earlier jug of jade, the oldest dated metal pieces are from 1456-1457.
The museum’s jug has an inscription under the base that can be translated as follows: “A work by the impoverished, humble servant Ali ibn Muhammad Ali Shihab al-Ghuri on the first day of the month of Jumada al-akhira in the year 918.” The artist’s nisba denotes that he came from the province of Ghur, east of Herat.
The jug is one of the latest known, and was made after the fall of the Timurids in 1506. The type went out of fashion in Safavid Iran, but survived in a slightly altered form in Ottoman silver work.
Inv. no. 34/1986
Sotheby’s London, 15/10-1986, lot 176;
Art from the World of Islam. 8th-18th century, Louisiana, Humlebæk 1987, cat.no. 190;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 347;
Kjeld von Folsach: Fabelvæsner fra Islams Verden, Davids Samling, København 1991, cat.no. 41;
Linda Komaroff: The golden disk of heaven: metalwork of Timurid Iran, Costa Mesa 1992, figs. 41 and 42, p. 253;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 258;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 523;
Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom (eds.): Cosmophilia. Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston 2006, cat.no. 69;
Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani: Le chant du monde: l'art de l'Iran safavide 1501-1736, Louvre, Paris 2007, cat.no. 9;
Mentioned in Michael Spink: “Dragons and arabesques: jade carving in Persia and Central Asia in the 15th century, The Woolf Jade Lecture” in Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 80, 2015-2016, p. 101, note 64;