Base of a ewer with Zodiac medallions, Seljuq period (1040–1196), first half of 13th century
Brass; engraved, inlaid with silver and copper; H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm), Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891 (91.1.530)
The full zodiacal cycle is depicted in the twelve medallions on the facets of this vessel. It also has three inscriptional bands, each in a different calligraphic style, that express traditional blessings to the owner. Here, Gemini (al-jawza, "the twins") appears as a single body with two heads, an unusual variation on its typical depiction as twin brothers.
Said the Wise Abu Macshar: "Those who are born in this decade have a dark complexion and a small build. They have a tendency to become cyanotic and anemic. Their sight is excellent. They have a great fear of the unknown. They have an amiable way of speaking. They are usually assisted by men of science and law. They have a mark on their head. They are respected persons. Allah knows more..."