Bird-shaped Vessel

Bird-shaped Vessel


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: 780 g (1.72 lbs.)

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.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email