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Marble Jar of Zayn al-Din Yahya Al-Ustadar

Marble Jar of Zayn al-Din Yahya Al-Ustadar - MET - Joy of Museums

Marble Jar of Zayn al-Din Yahya Al-Ustadar

This large carved marble jar was used to store drinking water, intended for use at a Cairo mosque. The inscription on this jar states that it was an endowment by the amir Zain al‑Din Yahya al‑Ustadar, who served as steward and official during the reign of Sultan Jaqmaq (r. 1438–53) and later rulers of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.

Mamluk Sultanate

The Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) was a medieval state with its capital in Cairo, Egypt and which lasted until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. At its height, the sultanate represented the zenith of medieval Egyptian political, economic, and cultural glory in the Islamic Golden Age.


A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Many mosques,  which originated on the Arabian Peninsula, have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls, in varying styles of architecture.


  • How difficult would it have been to carve the marble inside this jar?
  • Made of marble would this jar have had a special purpose?

Explore Islamic Art Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Marble Jar of Zayn al-Din Yahya Al-Ustadar

  • Title:            Marble Jar of Zayn al-Din Yahya Al-Ustadar
  • Date:           1444
  • Made in:      Egypt, Cairo
  • Materials:     Marble
  • Culture:        Mamluk
  • Dimensions:  H: 30 in. (76.2 cm); D: 22 in. (55.9 cm); Wt: 290 lbs. (131.5 kg)
  • Museum:      Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET


“If you search for the laws of harmony, you will find knowledge.”
– Egyptian Proverbs


Photo Credit: 1) JOM

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