Bobrinsky Bucket

Type: Buckets
Date: 1163
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Afghanistan
Medium: Brass
Dimensions: Height of 18.5 cm
Description: This bucket, which was likely for use in a bathhouse, includes inscriptions in Persian and Arabic. They name the individual who ordered the work ('Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Abdallah al-Rashidi), the recipient (Rukn al-Din Rashid ad-Din 'Azizi ibn Abu'l-Husayn al-Zanjani), the artist who "formed" (i.e., cast) the bucked (Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahid), and the artist who "made" the bucket (i.e., executed the inlayed decoration; Mas'ud ibn Ahmad). The inscriptions also indicate the bucket was made in Herat. The Kufic script of the body of the bucket incorporates zoomorphic and anthropomorphic forms, specifically heads at the ends of the letters. Animals and human figures also appear between the text bands, with many of the humans engaged in secular activities (e.g., playing backgammon, hunting). The bucket may have been made to commemorate the recipient's pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, and represents an example of luxury goods circulating among the merchant classes.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 7
Image Credits: Genevra Kornbluth

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Bobrinsky Bucket, alternating bands of script and figures Bobrinsky Bucket, detail of animated script Bobrinsky Bucket, backgammon players Bobrinsky Bucket, riders