Alderman William Bragge F.S.A.
Material and Medium: Brass, enamel
Dimensions: Overall: 191 x 328mm (7 1/2 x 12 15/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L18.104.22.1682
This is a large brass bowl or basin. It is believed to be either Persian (Iranian) or Indian. It was donated to the Museum in 1881 as part of the Bragge collection.
This basin is one of several objects collected by William Bragge (1823 – 1884), a civil engineer, antiquarian, and author. As an engineer he worked on many projects overseas and used this as an opportunity to collect many interesting objects. He had a particular interest in collecting writing about tobacco and antiques. Between 1858 and 1872 he worked in Sheffield as a director of steel manufacturer John Brown & Company. In 1870, he became Master Cutler of Sheffield.
The basin was used for washing the hands. Bragge recoded it as ‘Mohammadan’, an archaic western term for a follower of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. It may have been used for part of a religious ceremony.
The surface of the basin has been elaborately chased. The background of the design has been filled in with red and black.