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Bowl with Courtly and Astrological Motifs

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
late 12th–early 13th century
Geography:
Central or Northern Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; polychrome inglaze and overglaze painted and gilded on opaque monochrome glaze (mina'i)
Dimensions:
H. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm) Diam. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm) Wt. 14 oz. (396.9 g)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund, and Gift of The Schiff Foundation, 1957
Accession Number:
57.36.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999
The figures and decoration on the interior of this bowl combine imagery of the courtly cycle and astronomy. In the center the sun is surrounded by personifications of the planets (clockwise) Mars, Mercury, Venus, the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter. Islamic astronomers believed the planets orbited the earth, forming seven concentric circles. An eighth, outer sphere contained the constellations and signs of the zodiac, possibly represented by the six large and twelve small gold circles between the planets’ heads.
Inscription: In Arabic, in kufic script, inside below the rim, and incorrectly written: "Good wishes"
In Persian, in cursive script, on the outside: "[undeciphered] al-Din Ruler of Islam and the Muslims"

In Arabic language and in Naskhi scrip
Outside
ملک البر و [البحر ...] الدنیا و الدین ملک الاسلام و المسلمین ابو ... ـعرک قسیم امیر المؤمنین
The king of mainland and sea … world and religion
King of Islam and the Muslims Abū …. mʻrak ally of the prince of faithful.
Inside in Kufic script
و البرکة و الرحمة و الیمن ... و النصر الغالب ... و السعادة ... و النعمة ... و الدولة و السعادة ... و النعمة .... و الفدرة
And blessing and merciful and good fortune … and winner victory … and happiness … and grace … and power and happiness … and grace … and power

A.Ghouchani
[ M. Parish-Watson, New York, by 1922–31]; Mortimer L. Schiff, New York (until d. 1931); his son, John M. Schiff, New York (1931–57; sold and gifted to MMA)
"Beitrage zu Einer Geschichte der Planetendarstellungen im Orient und im Okzident." Der Islam vol. 3 (1912). pp. 151-177.

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. 57, p. 14, ill.

"7th January to 28th February, 1931, Royal Academy of Arts, London." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd edition ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. case 104D, p. 66.

Wilson, Arnold T. "7th January to 28th February, 1931." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd. ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. 104D, p. 66.

Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. vol. II, p. 1563, ill. vol. V, pl. 656A.

Ackerman, Phyllis. "The Iranian Institute, New York." In Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art. 2nd. ed. New York: The Iranian Institute, 1940. no. Gallery I, case 25J, p. 25.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970. no. 161, p. 183, ill. (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). p. 18, ill. p. 18 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). p. 18.

Alexander, David. Furusiyya: Catalogue. vol. 2. Riyadh,Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Public Library, 1996. no. 195, p. 233, ill. p. 233 (color).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 123, p. 206, ill. (color).

Carboni, Stefano. Following the Stars: The Zodiac in Islamic Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 7, pp. 20-21, ill. (b/w).



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