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Bowl with Figural Imagery

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
second half 14th century
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; hammered and turned, engraved, and inlaid with gold, silver, and black compound
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm) Diam. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1941
Accession Number:
41.148
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This hammered and turned brass bowl holds six circular medallions depicting figural scenes inlaid in gold, silver, and a black compound. In between each of these medallions is a section of a continuous inscription in muhaqqaq and kufic scripts that includes good wishes to the owner and declarations of the glory of God. Engraved fish and waterfowl on the interior suggest that the bowl may once have been used to hold water.
Inscription: Arabic, in Naskhi script; translation: "Glory to our Lord, the mighty Sultan, ruler of the necks of the peoples, Sultan of Sultans, of the Arabs and the Persians, the learned";
another inscription in Kufic characters across uprights of main inscription; the first word seems to be to the owner so probably the others are good wishes, but I cannot at present decipher them. (HMcA 1943) Inscription scratched on bottom and two pointed medallions with letters. Undeciphered. Probably refer to former owners.

Translation by Yassir al-Tabba (1978):
"Glory to our lord, the great sultan, the possessor of the necks of the nations, the sultan, of the sultans of the Arabs and the Persians, the wise". Over it an illegible Kufic inscription.


Arabic inscription in thulth script on the body:

العز لمولانا / السلطان الاعظم/ مالک رقاب الامم/ السلطان/ سلاطین العرب/ و العجم العالم/

Above it are a few unreadable words in kufic script.
On the base in nasta’liq script:
قاسم
پنجاه بیست پنج ده نار پنجنار/8
A.Ghouchani
[ Karekin Beshir, until 1941; sold to MMA]
Palm Beach, FL. The Society of the Four Arts. "Loan to the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Fl," February 2, 1962–February 27, 1962.

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