Damascus: Makers of Decorated Artillery Shell Cases

Date: c. 1918-20

Brass artillery shell casings were made by Damascene metalworkers into vases and small lidded boxes. These were decorated with chasing, hammering, and inlay (in silver and copper). The decoration broadly relates to the “Mamluk revival” style, sometimes with inscriptions in Arabic or Hebrew. Some carry the date (1 October 1918) that Damascus was taken by the British and Arab forces. Decorated artillery shell cases were also produced in Jerusalem in this period. See also: Copper beater (naḥḥās); Decorator of metal vessels (naqqāsh).

Citation: Milwright, Marcus and Evanthia Baboula. “Damascene ‘Trench Art’: A Note on Mamluk Revival Metalwork in early Twentieth-Century Syria”. Levant 46.3 (2014): pp. 382-98.