A late 19th century Mamluk style ceramic basin, attributed to Collinot & Cie

A late 19th century Mamluk style ceramic basin, attributed to Collinot & Cie



An impressive enamelled ceramic basin in the Mamluk style attributed to Collinot & Cie, of typical flared form, decorated with a monumental calligraphic inscription interspersed with colourful alternating geometric and hunting medallions, all set against a deep blue background, the rim with a band of simplified palmettes and a further border of running deer amidst scrolling floral decoration.

This remarkable ceramic basin is likely to have been produced by the firm Collinot & Cie in France in 1875. It is almost an exact copy of a gold and silver-inlaid brass basin made for the Mamluk Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad Ibn Qalawun in the first half of the 14th century. The Mamluk dynasty ruled over Egypt and Syria from 1250 - 1517.

The calligraphy on the Mamluk basin is a cursive variety known as thuluth. In the 19th century, the French ceramicist has used a flowing style that is both decorative and legible. The translation reads 'the worldly, the exalted, the master' referring to the titles afforded to Mamluk kings and sultans. The iconography of the princely ruler hunting oryx on horse-back together with the continuous band of running game, likewise portrays princely power and legitimate rule.

Eugène-Victor Collinot (1824-1889) was born in Röhrbach, Moselle and studied ceramics in Algeria and the Middle East whilst in the French army. With a background as a chemist, he began with a workshop at Boulevard d'Auteuil, Parc-aux-Princes, Boulougne-sur-Seine (now Boulogne-Billaincourt) in partnership with Adalbert de Beaumont, a Persian expert and traveller. De Beaumont and Collinot collaborated on a set of designs for their own pottery in 1859 and together created a technique of enamelling on ceramic, taking out a patent in 1860. Collinot was created a Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur in 1882.


Height 23.5 cm / 9 12"
Diameter 50 cm / 19 "

circa 1870