Earthenware; painted in blue on opaque white glaze
H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Diam. 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
Ceramics such as this bowl are among the first examples to incorporate calligraphy as the main element of decoration. The Iraqi potters of the ninth century attempted to emulate the luminous quality and hard body of Chinese whitewares by using a tin‑opacified white glaze. The Arabic word ghibta (happiness) is repeated twice in cobalt blue at the center.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in kufic script:
غبطة / غبطة
Felicity / Felicity
[ Nasli M. Heeramaneck (Indian, 1902–1971), New York, until 1963; sold to MMA]
Koechlin, R., and Gaston Migeon. "Ceramics, Fabrics, Carpets One Hundred Plates in Color." In Oriental Art. Paris, 1928. pl. IV, Illustrates in color a very similar bowl, with single "inscription"; called Rhages, 9th century; collection Koechlin.
Lane, Arthur. "Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia." In Early Islamic Pottery. Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain. London: Faber and Faber, 1947. pl. 9A, Illustrates a similar tin-glazed bowl painted on blue, signed Made by Salih; diam. 8 1/4 in.; called 9th-10th century, Mesopotamian; in Detroit Art Institute.
Grube, Ernst J. "The Art of Islamic Pottery." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23, no. 6 (February 1965). p. 210, ill. fig. 2 (b/w).
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, Suzanne G. Valenstein, and Julia Meech-Pekarik. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. vol. 12. Tokyo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977. pp. 270, 312, ill. pl. 79 (color), profile in b/w.
Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 20, ill. fig. 8 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 10, pp. 33-34, ill. p. 34 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 210-211, ill. pl. 41 (color).