Mazer bowl and cover

Mazer bowl and cover

Mazer bowl and cover
Probably France
About 1400
Museum no. 221-1866

This lidded drinking bowl is carved out of a knot of maple wood, which is known as a 'mazer'. Mazer bowls were common in royal or noble households until the 17th century and were often adorned with gold or silver mounts. This example is unique for having carved decoration, which is also particularly elaborate. Amongst the floral motifs run two long bands of pseudo-inscriptions, one encircling the lid, the other the body. These inscriptions probably copied those on imported examples of inlaid brassware made in the Mamluk empire.