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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:
Total H. 8 in. (20.3 cm); Max. Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
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
  • Description

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    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).

  • Provenance

    [ Phoenix Ancient Art S.A., Geneva, until 1998; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
453576:7

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