Large Silver & Copper Inlaid Wash Basin
Syria or Central Asia
height: 12.5cm, diameter: 36.5cm
This wash basin of brass inlaid with silver and copper is unusual for the four silver roundels inlaid with copper arabesques that decorate the wide rim. Panels of Islamic script in silver and copper are between the roundels. The base is similarly inlaid with cartouches of silver and copper motifs. The drain plate through which water escapes to the central well below has six arabesque cartouches: three are openwork allowing the water to drain, and three are inlaid with silver and copper.
Work such as this is typically called ‘Cairo ware’ and ascribed to Egypt or Syria. However, similar work was undertaken in Central Asia, particularly in what is now Uzbekistan. It is likely that pieces produced in Central Asia today are wrongly attributed to Egypt or Syria, particularly those pieces with more ‘Asian’ motifs such as the Bhuddistic endless knot.
Inventory no.: 676