AN EARLY ISLAMIC BRONZE EWER
Possibly Iran, 7th - 9th century
Of typical pyriform shape, resting on a tall flared conical foot, the cylindrical neck widening at the top with a drop-shaped rim with a pointed spout, the exterior deprived of decoration except for two parallel lines around the neck, reminiscent in style and shape of Sassanian silver ewers of the 6th and 7th centuries which continued being replicated well into the early Islamic period, 27cm high.
The design of our ewer seems to match the silver and bronze ewer prototypes produced in the Umayyad and Early Abbasid period, which drew their inspiration from Iranian silver models dating to the Sassanian period. Usually, the bodies of the Sassanian ewers presented chased or repoussé figural decoration and sinuous handles on the side. The choice of material of our lot suggests an emphasis on durability and functionality, instead of prestige and ceremonial purpose. For further information on Sassanian and early Islamic silver ewers, please see Marco Aimone, Byzantine and Sasanian Silver, Enamels and Works of Art: The Wyvern Collection, 2020, cats. 54, 59, and 63. The last two published examples are going to be auctioned at Sotheby's London in their upcoming Islamic and Indian Art sale, 30 March 2022, lots 83 and 84.
Estimated at £800 - £1,200