Near East, Persia (Iran), Iraq, and Central Asia, probably Seljuq (Saljuq/Seljuk) period, ca. 12th to 13th century CE. A striking cast bronze vessel with a round, almost spherical body, a long handle that flares at one end, and a long, thin spout with a feline - probably a lion - where the spout meets the side of the vessel. It stands on three wide feet below thin, short legs. Atop the vessel is a handled lid that fits within a lowered rim. This was attached via an iron pin which has worn away. This vessel was most likely secular, used to heat and serve liquid. The significance of the lion would be its hunting prowess and fierceness. Size: 6.8" L x 10.25" W x 5.55" H (17.3 cm x 26 cm x 14.1 cm)
During this time period, there was a huge market in bronze secular items, part of a luxury trade in the marketplaces of the Levant. They were made to appeal to consumer taste, including Christians, Muslims, and people with little interest in religious art. As a result, scenes of court life, battle, and hunting - as this piece is probably a reference to - were popular. If this example is similar to others from this place and time, then it may once have had gold and silver inlays.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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Dark, smooth patina on much of the surface. Intact aside from the lost iron pin for the hinge. Light encrustation, especially on the rim. Beautiful preservation of form and motif.