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I'd posted several photos of this bronze ewer I own over a year ago and hadn't received any comments or information about its' source or history. I recently reposted this information on my Google+ page and thought that I'd repost it here. I had spent time searching the Internet and found only a few ancient bronze type ewers which had bird or duck heads and none that even closely resembled this one. I never discovered where this was made or by whom but the engraved marks on the bottom might disclose some information to someone about the source of this strange item.
Description: A 7 1/2 inch high heavy bronze ewer or aquamanile (ritual vessel for pouring watr) with an animal head bearing a four sided crown; decorated with geometric patterns, the handle depicts a snake. It has three engraved wild animal scenes around the middle showing a lion and its' prey, the base is engraved with initials H.K. and N.17 or N.15. Liquid can be poured into the crown and poured out thru the animal's mouth. This has welding or soldering vertically thru the middle section. Various museums and art specialists have been unable to provide any information about where or when this was made.
I purchased this in a thrift store in Virginia back in 2009 and when I first saw it I was immediately attracted to it as I love weird objects. I spent quite a bit of time looking at various collectible ewers and aquamaniles on the Internet and could not find one that was similar in appearance. The type of wild animals depicted around the middle lead me to believe that this might have been made in Africa. It is unlike the many other examples of Persian or Middle Eastern bird head ewers.
I posted a video on youTube showing more views of this strange ewer:
There is a YouTube video of this same item posted in 2009. You may want to try to contact that person to see if they found out anything.
I posted that video on youTube showing the same bronze ewer and no one has contacted me with any information so I thought I'd repost photos here.
I was the person who posted the youTube video back in 2009; I had to click on your link to remember that I'd also posted this on youTube. I don't know whether this might have designed and sold commercially meaning that several or many were produced to be sold. An alternative would be that this was the only single example of this work and likely an individual or small sect of people had made this item. If I could grant any wish I'd likely want to know where this made, who had made it and its' purpose. I don't have any other "finds" that intrigue me the way this one does. I now don't remember where I found this but likely locally at one of the many thrift stores and consignment shops that I used to visit.
You speak of designs on the bottom...but I don't see a pic of the bottom. Unless you meant bottom rim. Is there anything on the bottom?
I'd also like a pic showing only the metal, no design. I saw a similar on-line, described as being 18th Century (1700s), however one of the pics showed the inside and the metal was obviously spun which wasn't invented until late 19th Century and is still being used.
Prior to spinning brass, bronze, etc. items were cast in pieces and soldered together.
I believe your coffee pot is from India or Pakistan. Several similar on line were said to be Northern India Mughal (?) or Dallah (?). ?? unknown what that means.
The base is not marked, I'll keep on looking. I searched many websites for the 2 designs shown in the last 2 photos with no success yet. I don't believe this has a great value except for its' strange appearance but someone took some time to create this and to them it obviously had some meaning.
I would agree with Tom. It appears to be Either of India/Pakistan or other Middle eastern type made. It may not be that old, as I recall seeing these type items making a comeback ( from India specifically ) in the late 70's early 80's.
I'm not at all sure on the Duck idea either. It's possible its tied more to a "God/Goddess" or a fantasy creature from a myth or tale/Legend.
Hope that helps ya a bit!
Bronze aquamanile in the form of a Hamsa
A Romanesque Gilt Bronze Aquamanile, Germany, Early 12th Century
Every time I think I found it, it is one of your postings!
I will try again later...have a good day.