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The Courtauld bag (detail)

Mosul (probably), Iraq, 1300 (circa)

The Courtauld bag (detail)
3 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 22cm


This mysterious object’s form seems to be loosely based on a common leather or textile purse but its function could only have been symbolic. It was obviously made for a patron of the highest status, with imagery evoking courtly music, dining and entertainments like hunting and falconry. The richest part of its decoration is concentrated on the top of the lid, where a miniature banqueting scene shows an enthroned couple flanked by a retinue of attendants. Remarkably, it has preserved almost all its gold and silver inlay.

Image Details

The Courtauld Gallery, London

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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