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Ewer with Engraved Fish Scale Pattern, Inscribed in Persian with the name "Khairullah"

A work made of brass repoussé.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of brass repoussé.


Early 18th century



About this artwork

The Sultans of the Deccan (r. 1347-1636) in South India combined the Persian aesthetic with the Indic to forge a new Indo-Islamic idiom. In this ewer, we see the confrontation of the Indic preference for a sensuous fullness of volume, weight, balance, and a naturalistic silhouette (representing shapes such as gourds, mangoes, fruits, and birds) with the Islamic preference for the abstract, ethereal, and attenuated silhouette from Iran. The Indic aspect of this Indo-Islamic vessel is evident in the voluptuous, bottom-heavy, pear-shaped belly on raised on a pedestal foot, rising to a tall slender neck with a disk or “bulge” in the center, to a dome shaped top. The curvaceous handle echoes the rounded belly, while the spout, with a chased band of chevron, rises in a gentle S-curve to a lotiform mouth. A fully opened lotus surrounds the base of the spout. It is chased in a repoussé fish-scale motif, a naturalistic trait which at first blush would signify its Indian origin, but which may be a motif imported from Turkey, as seen in Iznik ceramics of the late 16th century. It is inscribed with the Persian name “Khairullah,” probably the owner’s name. Inscriptions indicate that the object was valued.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Ewer with Engraved Fish Scale Pattern, Inscribed in Persian with the name "Khairullah"


India (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1701–1725


Brass repoussé


Inscription in Persian on the body of the vessel contains the name “Khairullah.” Could possibly have been an early owner of the vessel.


H.: 32 cm (12 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Major Acquisitions Centennial Fund

Reference Number


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