Brass; cast, inlaid with silver, copper, and black compound
H. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm), H. without lid 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm), Diam. 4 9/16 in. (11.6 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1959 (59.69.2a,b)
The inscriptions on the lid of this inkwell convey generic blessings for the owner, and are "animated," that is, parts of letters are transformed into animal or human figures. The base of the inkwell is decorated with signs of the Zodiac, including Cancer (al-saratan, "the crab") with its Planetary Lord the Moon. This association is usually emphasized in images of the Cancer crab, whose claws hold a disk with the crescent Moon.