Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Long-Handled Spoon Inscribed in Arabic with Good Wishes

Mahmud ibn Muhammad ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Naqqash
Object Name:
Mixing spoon
11th century
Made in Iran, possibly Khurasan
High-tin bronze alloy; cast, chased, and drilled
H. 25 1/8 (63.8 cm) Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm) Depth. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Page and Otto Marx Jr. Foundation Gift, Rogers Fund, Eva D. Balamuth and Persian Heritage Foundation Gifts, and funds from various donors, 2002
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The most interesting and refined patterns of this utilitarian object are the decorative line and the Kufic inscription along the handle near the spoon. The calligraphy gives the name of the craftsman as "Mahmud ibn Muhammad ibn Abi al-Hasan, the engraver." The cup is shallow and worn at its edge suggesting that the spoon was used as a mixing utensil for a large cooking pot.
Inscription: The band near the edge of the spoon includes an inscription in coarse naskh script against a vegetal background. The inscription reads: " Blessing and well-being and happiness and grace (of God) and glory and long life … and gratitude and well-being and …"

Along the handle, on the side that faces the front of the spoon and beginning near the attachment to the spoon itself, is a subtle engraved linear decoration followed by an inscription in kufic script. The inscription gives the name of the craftsman as "The work of Mahmud ibn Muhammad ibn Abi al-Hasan, al-Naqqash."

In naskhi script:
البرکة و السلامة و السعادة و السعادة و النعمة و القدرة و العافیة و السرور و السلامة و
The name of metal worker written on handel in naskhi script:
عمل محمود بن محد بن ابي الحسن النقاش

[ Momtaz Islamic Art, until 2002; sold to MMA]
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