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Medieval Egyptian Mamluk Brass Tray Stand with Silver Inlay

$167,462.71

About

This exceptionally beautiful and rare silver-inlaid brass tray stand dates from the medieval period, when the Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria (1250-1517). The Mamluks originated as slave-soldiers, who served the Muslim caliphs and Ottoman Empire. With time, the Mamluks became a powerful military caste, and they managed to take control and establish themselves as rulers of certain areas within the Abbasid caliphate. The Mamluk dynasty commissioned great works of art and architecture, particularly in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, which was described in the 14th Century as ‘the centre of the universe and garden of the world’ (Ibn Khaldun, 1382). This tray stand is of biconical form, with a raised central band and flared base and rim. It is decorated with scrolling vines, overlaid with Thuluth inscriptions and roundels. On the lower body, the roundels contain floral motifs, and in the upper, stylised depictions of birds. The Thuluth inscriptions praise the patron, referring to him as ‘The High authority, the Lordly, the Possessor’, and ‘the learned’. The underside of the rim is engraved with a heraldic medallion, possibly the patron’s symbol. In the middle ages, when this piece was made, this item would have stood in a grand interior, supporting a tray full of fruit and fine food. The owner of this lavish piece which still bears traces of its original silver inlay would likely have been an Amir (prince) or some other important figure who was close to the Sultan in the Mamluk court. Mamluk tray stands became widely-known for their beauty and opulence in the medieval period. As such, Chinese craftsmen began to make porcelain copies of them for the Middle Eastern market. Examples of these are found in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the David Collection in Copenhagen, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Only a handful of these Mamluk tray stands have survived, so this is a truly one-of-a-kind piece, which is both incredibly beautiful and historically important.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 10.63 in. (27 cm)Diameter: 9.65 in. (24.5 cm)
  • Style
    Islamic (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    14th Century
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 157971stDibs: LU956313673061

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
Recognized Seller
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Established in 1975
1stDibs seller since 2012
181 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
Associations
The British Antique Dealers' AssociationInternational Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
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