Ewer in the shape of a cockerel, buff earthenware
with carved, moulded and incised decoration.
Polygonal pear-shaped body on a medium-
height splayed and decorated foot-ring; large
medalions all over the surface of the body, with
blossoming rosettes and peaked floral motifs;
tapering neck is entirely covered by scrollwork,
terminating in a cockerel’s head; short flat
handle with knob finial; small cylindrical spout
on the shoulder .
These ewers were a very popular type of recipient
and it has been a rather common practice for
artists to delight prospective patrons by
enlivening common vessels by means of
attaching animal heads and other animal
features. Such bird- and animal-shaped
elements had been a common feature of
metalwork ewers since the beginning of the
Islamic period and numerous examples similar to
this one, dated or datable from the 12th through
the 14th century, have survived, based on their
immediate precedents, silver ewers from
Sasanian Iran and high-fired ceramics from the
Tang and Song periods in China.
Syria, Abbasid period, 9th - 10th century.