Bronze, cast, with chased and chiseled decoration; eyes inlaid with blue glass
Overall: 17.5 x 9.5 cm (6 7/8 x 3 3/4 in.)
Weight: 0.78 kg.
Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1948.458
This bird-shaped vessel may have been used as an aquamanile (medieval water vessel), enabled by the hinged beak. Birds in Islamic art often symbolized freedom of the spirit, soaring of the soul, and good fortune. Possibly the blue-green eyes were considered good luck charms to protect the owner from the evil eye and to ward off misfortune.
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