Ayyubid inlaid metal basin, 1247-1249AD
d'Arenberg Basin. Freer Gallery of Art.


A larger image of this side of the d'Arenberg Basin

Picture source: Smithsonian F1955.10


Picture source: StudyBlue


Picture source: Laura T. Schneider, 'The Freer Canteen' Ars Orientalis Vol. 9, Freer Gallery of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Volume (1973), pp. 137-156
Basin
1247-1249
Ayyubid period
Reign of Sultan Najmal-Din Ayyub
Brass, inlaid with silver
H: 22.5 W: 50.0 D: 50.0 cm
Probably Damascus, Syria

Inscriptions on the interior and exterior of this extraordinary basin suggest that it was created during the reign of Sultan al-Malik al-Salih Najmuddin Ayyub, the last Ayyubid ruler, who reigned during the 1230s and 1240s. The work is particularly notable for its elaborate decoration which includes both Islamic and Christian themes. On the exterior, a wide inscription band depicts scenes from the life of Christ: the Annunciation, the Virgin and Child enthroned, the Raising of Lazarus, the Entry into Jerusalem, and perhaps the Last Supper. Some of the other motifs on the exterior consists of a lively polo game and a band of real and imaginary animals, punctuated by medallions with musicians. On the interior, a row of thirty-nine saints stands under ogival arches. Whether commissioned by a Muslim or Christian patron, the combination implies religious tolerance in thirteenth-century Ayyubid Syria.
Freer Gallery of Art F1955.10



See also:
Ayyubid or Mamluk inlaid metal basin, 13th century AD, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
Inlaid bronze basin, late 13th or early 14th centuries AD, Mamlūk, Victoria and Albert Museum
Mamluks on the Baptistère de Saint Louis, 1320–40
Illustrations of Egyptian/Syrian Costume & Soldiers
13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers