This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English, German.
Hegira 10th century / AD 16th century
This terracotta vessel is probably made of a special clay called terra lemnia. This clay had been credited with antitoxic powers by ancient physicians such as Dioscorides and Galen. Arab translations of classical texts on medicine introduced this to the Islamic world, leading to the production of vessels made of this material. Such drinking vessels were probably also believed to protect drinkers from being poisoned. Afraid of dying from poison, Emperor Rudolf II charged Reinholf Lubenau, the physician at the Austrian embassy to the Ottoman court, with obtaining such vessels for him.
"Lidded ewer" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;at;Mus22;34;en
MWNF Working Number: AT2 34