A Large Mecca-Inscribed Copper and Brass Teapot
dated 1261 H / 1845 AD
height: 34.5 cm
This Bukharan-style brass teapot is finely engraved in Arabic beneath the spout with the words: ‘Sahib Naas Muhamed Haji, in the name of Allah, donated to Mecca (Makkah)’, (shown in the photographs below) and dated 1261 H (circa 1845 AD).
The engraving suggests that this piece is a donation piece, given by a wealthy pilgrim (the name is Persian, suggesting that the donor was from Persia or at least had Persian ancestry) to the foundation that administers the al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the mosque that contains the Ka’bah, for use by other pilgrims.
The teapot is beautifully engraved with flowers, tendrils and leaf motifs. Each side is cast with a two-tiered almond-shaped lozenge, the centres of which are densely engraved with interlocking tendrils.
The flared foot is engraved with a band of almond motifs and other patterns.
The ‘S’ shaped handle terminates with a stylised lotus. The cover also has a lotus bud finial.
The base is of copper, as are the rivets used to secure the cover and handle to the body.
Overall, this is an excellent example of Central Asian metalwork.
similar teapots are illustrated in Kalter, J. and Pavaloi, M., Uzbekistan: Heirs to the Silk Road, Thames & Hudson, 1997, p. 315, 321.
Inventory no.: 10