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18th C. Islamic Gilded Bronze Lidded Lime Container

Middle East, Islamic world, ca. 18th to 19th century CE. A charming vessel for holding lime, made from copper, its surface gilded and decorated with a profusion of lightly incised motifs that call to mind the characters of Mesopotamian mythology, including kingly figures with large beards, figures processing in profile wearing traditional clothing and holding baskets full of food, and a stag in a hunting scene. These scenes range across the surface of the body and the conical lid, which fits snugly onto the body with an extended lip. A bronze chain attached to a small loop atop the lid allows the vessel to be suspended from a hook. Size: 2.3" W x 3.95" H (5.8 cm x 10 cm); 7.85" H (19.9 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: The rim of the lid has been repaired. Small losses to the gilded surface, mainly on the lid. The surface has a rich, matte patina. Many of the motifs on the surface are still visible, although some have been smoothed away by touch. Encrusted deposits of lime remain on the interior.

Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

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