Footed Bowl, Bronze; inlaid with silver and black compound

Footed Bowl

Object Name:
Footed bowl
early 13th century
Attributed to Iran
Bronze; inlaid with silver and black compound
H. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
Diam. 6 15/16 in. (17.6 cm)
Wt. 26.3 oz. (745.7 g)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
Not on view
This footed bowl has a rich program of inlaid silver decoration. There are epigraphic bands under the rim and around the foot, each with blessings for the bowl's owner in animated script, with a band of medallions containing the signs of the Zodiac in the middle. Each medallion is framed by a ring of pointed rays that underscore the solar symbolism of the decoration, and each sign is shown with its Planetary Lord.
In Arabic, Aquarius is called al-dalw ("the water bucket") when referring to the sign of the Zodiac, and sakib al-ma ("the water pourer") when referring to the constellation. Correspondingly, illustrations of the Zodiac show Saturn, the Planetary Lord of Aquarius, raising a bucket of water from a well, whereas illustrations of the constellation, following the original Greek name, show a male figure pouring water from a vessel.
Inscription: Arabic, below the rim; translation: "Glory, Happiness, Prosperity, Generosity, Favors".

Translation by Yassir al-Tabba: "Glory, prosperity, dominion, happiness, intercession, care, health, increase, dignity, continuance, chieftainship, rule and longevity to its owner".

In naskhi script:

العز و الاقبال و السعادة و الشفاعة و العنایة و العافیة و الزیاد[ة] و الکرامة و الدوامة و الریاسة و السیاد[ة] و البقاء الدائم لصاحبه

The inscription also read by Yassir al-Tabba as:
العز و الاقبال و الدوله و السعاده و الشفاعه و العنایه و العافیه و الزیاد[ه] و الکرامه و الدوامه و الریاسه و السیاده و البقا دائم لصاحبه
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art," February 4, 1997–August 31, 1997, no. 6.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 143, ill. fig. 84 (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "The Flowering of Seljuq Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal vol. 3 (1970). pp. 113-131, ill. fig. 3 (b/w).

Carboni, Stefano. Following the Stars: The Zodiac in Islamic Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 19, pp. 44-45, ill. (b/w).

Casagrande-Kim, Roberta, ed. "Islamic Transformations of the Classical Past." In Romance and Reason. Princeton and Oxford: The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, New York, 2018. no. 64, p. 138, ill. pl. 48.