Name of Object:

Powder container

Location:

Rabat, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Museum of the Udayas

Date of Object:

Hegira 13th–14th century / AD 19th century

Museum Inventory Number:

3683

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wood; engraved, gilded silver openwork; gold-embroidered velvet.

Dimensions:

Height 24 cm, width 30 cm, depth 9 cm

Period / Dynasty

Alawid

Provenance:

Northern Morocco.

Description:

This very curved horn-shaped container is made of wood covered with red velvet. It was fitted with two rings that enabled it to be attached to a rider's neck or waist with a strap. The mouth, tip and centre are decorated with cylindrical and conical plaques in gilded, engraved silver openwork. Whether embroidered with gold thread on the velvet covering or engraved and rendered in openwork on the silver plaques, the decoration consists mainly of plant motifs: stems, foliage, palms and fleurons borrowed from the traditional artistic repertoire of Morocco and Andalusia. A single geometric element, an eight-pointed star that marks the centre of the central metal plaque, stands alone among the plant decoration.
This type of container, whose curving shape is reminiscent of the Yemen jambiya dagger, contained the powder used to load the rifles used in the fantasia and was part of the equipment carried by the horsemen of the north of Morocco who took part in games on richly harnessed steeds.

View Short Description

Powder horns of this type, whose shape is reminiscent of the curve of the Yemeni jambia dagger, carried the powder used to load the rifles used in fantasias. They were carried by the horsemen of Northern Morocco who participated in such games on sumptuously harnessed horses.

How date and origin were established:

Charles de Foucauld first made reference to this type of powder container in 1888, allowing us to consider this date a terminus ante quem.

How Object was obtained:

Purchased.

How provenance was established:

The embroidery is typical of the north of Morocco.

Selected bibliography:

Buttin, Ch., Catalogue de la collection des armes anciennes européennes et orientales, Rumilly, 1933, pp.265–77.
Foucauld, Ch. de, Reconnaissance au Maroc (1883–1884), Paris, 1888.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Powder container" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;ma;Mus01_B;46;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-BoujibarNaima El Khatib-Boujibar

Archéologue et historienne de l'art, titulaire d'une licence en lettres (française), N. Elkhatib-Boujibar a également étudié l'archéologie et l'histoire de l'art à l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie de Paris, l'art islamique et la muséologie à l'École du Louvre (Paris), et suivi des cours à l'Institut d'ethnographie de l'Université de Neuchâtel (Suisse). Elle a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité, parmi lesquels directrice des Musées et de l'Archéologie, inspectrice générale des Musées et de l'Archéologie, déléguée régionale du ministère de la Culture.
Elle a dirigé un chantier de fouille durant 20 ans et enseigné à l'Institut national marocain des sciences de l'archéologie et du patrimoine (INSAP). Elle a organisé différentes expositions sur le patrimoine marocain, au Maroc comme à l'étranger, et animé des cycles de conférence, dont celui sur l'art islamique à la “Villa des Arts” à Casablanca.
N. El Khatib-Boujibar a publié différents articles sur le patrimoine archéologique, artistique et architectural marocain, mais aussi sur d'autres sites islamiques et sur les arts mobiliers. Elle a également participé à la rédaction du catalogue Musée Sans Frontières Le Maroc andalou, à la rencontre d'un art de vivre.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: MO 69

RELATED CONTENT

 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period

Alawids


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