"Each part of the world recapitulates, shares in and experiences the history of the world as a whole"
Fernand Braudel


14th century AD

The emblem on this flask belongs to the Mamluk age. It appears that the Mamluk’s extensive use of emblems is an influence by the noble families in Italy- where each family had its special emblem - and the idea came to this region during the Crusade wars. In Islam, it was not to represent family name but to indicate military and administrative status. The princes, leaders and the officers of the state were given emblems according to their positions. These emblems would then appear on the person’s clothes and official items, and even on their architecture.

This flask is ornamented with a Mamluk emblem that belongs to the reign of the Mamluk vice sultanate in Bilad al-Sham, Tuquz Tamar al-Hamwi (from Hama. 743-746 H= 1342-1345 AD). The emblem features a large eagle spreading out its wings, while beneath it there is a cup. Archeologists interpret this to indicate that Tuquz Tamar might have been originally the cupbearer to the sultan and then promoted to become the vice regent of the sultanate.

The object is a pottery flask made by a mold. It has a disc-shaped body and a short neck with a decoratively lengthened rim consisting of six tapering rings. It has two small handles in the top of its shoulder. The circular surface of the body carries the emblem which is surrounded with stylized floral and geometrical decorations.     

see also