Cupbearer Blazon

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Cupbearer blazon 13th–15th centuries, Egypt Appliqué cotton Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 88027

Cupbearer blazon

This rather unadorned appliqué roundel is divided into three registers, with a silhouetted image of a goblet in the center. The roundel would have been stitched to a garment and worn as a blazon or symbol of office. During the Mamluk period in Egypt, this blazon represented the office of the saqi, or royal cupbearer. As one of the sultan's close cohorts, the cupbearer served the ruler wine and other libations. This and other blazons were represented on objects (such as glass lamps and ceramic vessels) and architecture, in which they served to identify an individual by the office he held.

Bibliography: Ellis 2001, 80–81, fig. 54. Lamm 1937, 67; Mayer 1933, 10–11; Suriano 1998; Walker 2000; and Whelan 1988, 220.

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