Stonepaste; incised and polychrome painted under transparent glaze
H. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
Diam. 13 3/8 in. (34 cm)
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1945
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
Here, the radial blue stripes are bounded by two calligraphic bands painted on the stonepaste body in black pigment. The letters, etched through the pigment to reveal the white body‑fabric below, form an illegible pseudo‑inscription that may have had associations with magic. The motif of swimming fish, frequently depicted on Chinese wares, gained popularity in Kashan ceramics. The juxtaposition of fish with magical letters reinforces the idea that the bowl had talismanic properties.
Marking: -Sticker on foot: 130 -Sticker on foot: 160/757/775010 -Sticker on foot: Property of Horace Havemeyer
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, New York (by 1931–45; gifted to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 12 to June 28, 1931." In Loan Exhibition of Ceramic Art of the Near East. New York, 1931. no. 41, p. 11.
"An Exhibition Celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the Cooper Union, 20th April–31st August, 1960." In The Logic and Magic of Color. New York: Cooper Union Museum, 1960. no. 151, p. 26.