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Name of Object:
Large tray (s’ni)Holding Museum:
National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic ArtsOriginal Owner:
Al-Hadj Ibrahim (Zaytuna)Museum Inventory Number:
Width 2.7 cm, diameter 94.2 cmMaterial(s) / Technique(s):
Hammered and incised red copper.Date of the object:
Hegira 1156 / AD 1743Period / Dynasty:
The decoration on this circular tray is arranged in concentric bands encircling a rosette with many petals. The first band is adorned with stylised leaves, followed by another band that is wider and engraved with alternating vegetal elements representing the cypress tree, as well as arabesque medallions. A signature in cursive lettering carries the name of the owner, 'sahibihi Al-Hadj Ibrahim (Zaytuna)' and, composed in Indian numerals, the date of the object's fabrication, 1156; which can be translated as: 'its owner al-Hadj Ibrahim (Zaytuna) 1156' (AD 1743). The last letter of the word sahibihi, which surrounds the whole of the inscription, ends in the form of a tulip, in imitation of the tughra (the signature of the Ottoman sultans). The third band features interweaving foliar ornaments enclosing small rosettes, and the last band features semi-circular arches adorned with flowers.How date and origin were established:
In former times, the s'ni would be placed on a small painted wooden table as a means of serving the different daily meals. It is still used in Algeria.
According to the date on the object.How provenance was established:
Algiers was the main manufacturing centre for this type of brassware.Selected bibliography:
Catalogue descriptif et illustré des principaux ouvrages d'or et d'argent de fabrication algérienne, Algiers, 1900.Citation of this web page:
Eudel, P., Dictionnaire des bijoux de l'Afrique du Nord, Maroc, Algérie, Tripolitaine, Paris, 1906.
Marçais, G., Le musée Stéphane Gsell, musée des antiquités et d'art musulman d'Alger, Algiers, 1950.
Ali Benbella "Large tray (s’ni)" in Discover Islamic Art. Place: Museum With No Frontiers, 2015. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;dz;Mus01;33;en
Prepared by: Ali Benbella
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: AL 59