Although I am no expert in Middle Eastern decorative arts, I know what I like when I see it. And I view early Twentieth Century Middle Eastern metalwork much the same way I view European Art Nouveau copper and brass works: an achievement of handcraft—using simple, honest and timeless materials—which is both practical and beautiful. I don’t know (precisely) where the tray above was made or (exactly) when. But I love the delicacy of the central tracery and the scrolling botanical garland which encircles the tray. And the crenelated “pie crust” edge, at the tray’s perimeter, is a feat of patience, consistency and control. Certainly, the craftsman was highly skilled and deserves our admiration. As handsome as it is, it is also functional; it will hold glasses, baked goods, hors d’Oeuvres or a selection of cheeses. And it would look terrific hanging on the oak wall of an Arts & Crafts bungalow—Arts & Crafts or not.
Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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