Earthenware; white slip with polychrome slip decoration under transparent glaze
Max Diam. 14 in. (35.6 cm)
H. 4 1/4 (10.8 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1940
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
Many ceramics from the Nishapur region are decorated with calligraphy. The writing on these objects often relates to their use (i.e., "Eat with appetite") or repeat a familiar proverb. The writing on this bowl expresses good wishes for the owner: "Blessing, felicity, prosperity, well-being, happiness." Curiously, the inscription includes the start of an additional word, al, meaning "the," but not the rest of the word. The tall vertical strokes of these letters must have been included to make the overall visual effect of the inscription more harmonious. This bowl is thought to come from Samarqand, because the central motif of interlacing straps is also found on metal objects made there.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in “new-style” script around rim:
البرکة و الغبطة و النعمة و السلامة و السعادة الـ
Blessing, felicity, prosperity, well-being, happiness [. . .]
1939, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Calligraphy West of China," March 15, 1972–May 7, 1972.
New York. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. "The Educated Eye," January 1973–February 1973.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part II: Vegetal Patterns," September 10, 1998–January 10, 1999.
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Louvre Long Term Loan," April 28, 2004–April 27, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Balcony Calligraphy Exhibition," June 1, 2009–October 26, 2009.
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