December 31, 1579
Cleveland Art
Art and Calligraphy
Akbar 1556–1605



Bath Pail (satl)
c. 1580-1610

Iran, Isfahan, Safavid period, late 16th-early 17th century
Cast brass, turned, engraved, inlaid with black compound (niello)

Overall: 17 cm (6 11/16 in.); Diameter of base: 11 cm (4 5/16 in.); Diameter of rim: 16.8 cm (6 5/8 in.)

Gift of Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. 1969.291


Three animal motifs are repeated within the geometric interlacing: a doe with its head turned backward; a water fowl; and a horned animal, possibly an ibex.


This pail was made to carry traditional bathing equipment such as combs and a friction glove to the public bath, or hammam. Intended for the faithful’s purification, the hammam was also a meeting place and a center of social life as well as a popular theme with Iranian poets. The poem in the upper band of this pail employs bath imagery to express the Lover’s longing to see the Beloved. In the lower bands, verses by the celebrated poet Jami (died 1492) liken the sense of well-being induced by a visit to the bath to the elation experienced through ascetic detachment.


Upper band: At the breath of dawn [my Beloved] came from her house toward the Bath,/ A thousand hearts became dust on the road beneath her steps./ From seeing Your face, the bath-house day and night/ [Has] a thousand colored eyes on the door and ceiling./ As soon as my Moon [-faced Beloved] comes into the Bath,/ My eye becomes this bathing cup, and by eyebrow its handle.


Lower band: I remember an old master saying in the Bathhouse:/ One day a young person asked of an old man:/ "What is the secret that makes anyone who sets foot in the bathhouse,/ Find his saddened heart opened up to joy?"/ He said: "The secret is that the bather has nothing of the trappings of this world/ But a bathing-bowl and towel -- and even those belong to others.


Persian verses about Bathing


de Rothschild collection, Paris, France

Rosenberg and Stiebel, Inc., New York, NY, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

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Ratings & Review

Mohmedd shareef

Thank You for Suggestion and replaced image with proper one.

Mirza Firuz

This is not the same may be one of his great grand children ???

Ss Records