Bowl with Arabic Inscription, "He who multiplies his words, multiplies his worthlessness"
Iran or present-day Uzbekistan, Nishapur or Samarqand; Iran, Nishapur
Earthenware; white slip with incised black slip decoration under a transparent glaze
Diam. 10 13/16 in. (27.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1940
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
A particularly fine example of the calligraphic ware produced in the Nishapur region, the simple black decoration on this white, slip-covered bowl is confined to four blocks of writing surrounding a central knot motif.
Inscription: Arabic: "He who talks a lot, spills a lot." "He who multiplies his words, multiplies his worthlessness" [S. Heidemann 2/2011] A person who talks too much has many faults [man kathura kalamuhu kathura saqtuhu] (Ghouchani 1986, pl. 32)
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.
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981.
McAllister, Hannah, Maurice S. Dimand, Charles K. Wilkinson, and Walter Hauser. "Excavations of the Iranian Expedition in the Kanat Teppeh, Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 37 (1942). pp. 111-112, 115, ill. fig. 41 (b/w).
Lane, Arthur. "Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia." In Early Islamic Pottery. Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain. London: Faber and Faber, 1947. p. 18, ill. pl. 18A (b/w).
"Calligraphy West of China." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 30, no. 5 (1972). p. 254, ill. (b/w).
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. pp. 10-11 (b/w).
"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 6, pp. 38-39, ill. p. 39 (b/w).