Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Bowl with Arabic Proverb

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
late 10th–11th century
Geography:
present-day Uzbekistan, Samarqand
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Earthenware; white slip with polychrome slip decoration under transparent glaze
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm) W. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1956
Accession Number:
56.44
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This large bowl is decorated with a calligraphic design reading “Forbearance is at first bitter to the taste, but in the end sweeter than honey. Blessing.” Arabic proverbs appearing on slip-painted ware from Nishapur and Samarqand often reference the social codes and moral etiquette of the period, which included a strong emphasis on hospitality and generosity, and sometimes allude their use as functional objects. This bowl’s red earthenware body was covered in white slip and decorated with motifs found on metal objects from the period, including the stippled ground.
Inscription: Arabic inscription in kufic script around rim:
"Forbearance is at first bitter to the taste, but in the end sweeter than honey. Blessing".
[ Hassan Khan Monif, New York, until 1956; sold to MMA]
Grabar, Oleg. "Notes on the decorative composition of a bowl from northeastern Iran." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 95, ill. fig. 4 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 7, pp. 40-41, ill. p. 41 (color).

Deroche, F., ed. "Essais de Codicologie et de Paleographie." In Les Manuscrits du Moyen-Orient. Paris: Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes, 1989. ill. Planche XVII C.



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