Lidded Box of Muhammad al-Hamawi, Timekeeper at the Umayyad Mosque, Damascus

Object Name: Box with lid

Date: 15th century

Geography: Attributed to Syria

Medium: Brass; engraved and inlaid with silver

Dimensions: H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
W. 6 11/16 in. (17 cm)
D. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891

Accession Number: 91.1.538


According to the inscription on its lid, this box was made for Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn ’Ali al-Hamawi, a timekeeper at the Umayyad mosque in Damascus who originally came from Hama, Syria. Timekeepers supervised the calls to prayer and observed the new moon, especially at the beginning and the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.