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Bowl with Dragons

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
dated A.H. 607/A.D. 1210
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; glazed in opaque white, luster-painted, part of the inscription scratched in luster
Dimensions:
H. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm) Diam. 8 7/16 in. (21.4 cm) Wt. 15.3 oz. (433.8 g)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1961
Accession Number:
61.40
Not on view
Snakelike dragons, their heads confronting one another, run concentrically and intertwine on this bowl. Dragons were associated with the pseudo-planet al-Jawzahr, able to cause and reverse eclipses by swallowing moon and sun, and were thus both terrifying and beneficial, protective, and apotropaic. The bowl may have had a perceived beneficial quality, amplified by a twice-inscribed benediction:

May your power and glory be perpetual / May your good fortune surpass all limits / So that everything in this bowl brings you enjoyment / Oh master of the world, may it prolong your life.
Inscription: On the rim
1-
در عالم عشق غم ز شادی کم نیست شادان نبود هرک بغم خرم نیست
هر چند دراز است بیابان بلا دیدم بپای عشق گامی هم نیست

In the realm of love, sorrow is not less than joy
He who has never felt sorrow cannot ever be happy
I have seen that the desert of affliction/temptation, however long it may be..
is hardly a step toward love.

2-
همواره ترا دولت و عز افزون باد اقبال تو بگذشته ز حد بیرون باد
تا هرچه زین کاسه بکام تو رسد ای صدر جهان ترا بجان افزون باد

May your power and glory be perpetual
May your good fortune surpass all limits
So that everything in this bowl brings you enjoyment
O minister of the world—may it prolong your life

3-
في جمادی الآخر سنة سبع و ستمائة

Jamadi al-Akhir, year 607 A.H. (1210 AD)

Second circle
1-
شادی نکند سر گل ازینت نرسد مردی نکند سر گل گر بهم رسد
مارا فزون؟ ... می ترسانی ای هرچه ز تو دارد ار سر رسد

Problematic, cannot be translated

2-
عز و اقبال و مهتری و سرور از خداوند این مبادا دور

May glory, prosperity, greatness and joy never be remote/far from [the owner]

3-
جمادی الآخر

Jamadi al-Akhir

On the bottom

1-
Same Ruba’i on the rim (no.2)

(همواره ترا دولت و عز افزون باد اقبال تو بگذشته ز حد بیرون باد
تا هرچه زین کاسه بکام تو رسد ای صدر جهان ترا بجان افزون باد

May your power and glory be perpetual
May your good fortune surpass all limits
So that everything in this bowl brings you enjoyment
O minister of the world—may it prolong your life)

2-
نگه دار بادا جهان آفرین بهر جا که باشد خداوند این

May the Creator protect [the owner] wherever he may be.








In Persian; in bands on the interior: inscribed (untranslated) and dated, " Jumada II 607 (A.D. 1210)".
S. Tillinger, Tehran (in 1949); H.D. Motamed, New York (until 1961; sold to MMA)
Bahrami, Mehdi. Gurgan Faiences. Cairo, 1949. no. 3, p. 129, ill. pl. LXIII.

Grube, Ernst J. "The Art of Islamic Pottery." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23, no. 6 (February 1965). pp. 222, 224, ill. fig. 28 (b/w).

Watson, Oliver. Persian Lustre Ware. London; Boston: Faber and Faber, 1985. p. 198, Appendix III, no. 19.

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. 144, pp. 230-231, ill. p. 230 (color).



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