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Pyxis (Cylindrical Container)

Object Name:
Pyxis
Date:
late 11th–early 12th century
Geography:
Syria
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; luster-painted on incised, opaque white glaze
Dimensions:
Bowl: H. 8 in. (20.3 cm) Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm) Lid: H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm) Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm) Wt. 8.5 oz. (241 g)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Harvey and Elizabeth Plotnick Gift, and Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.298a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
This type of copper‑toned lusterware known as Tell Minis ware is named after a village in central Syria where such pieces were found. Syrian potters used minimal amounts of silver and greater amounts of copper in creating luster glazes, thus endowing the luster with a distinct dark coppery hue. A shortage of silver in the region at the time may have caused a change in the luster glaze recipe.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in kufic script, on exterior of body:
توکل تکفا الصبر عز من صبر قدر
Trust [in God] suffices. Perseverance becomes glory.
[He] who is patient possesses strength.

The second proverb is one of the sayings of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (A. Ghouchani, 2012).
[ Phoenix Ancient Art S.A., Geneva, until 1998; sold to MMA]
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 57, no. 2 (1998-1999). p. 10, ill. (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. 95, pp. 146-147, ill. p. 147 (color).



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