Bowl with Arabic Inscription, "Blessing, Prosperity, Well-being, Happiness"

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

Many ceramics from the Nishapur region are decorated with calligraphy. The writing on these objects often relates to their use (i.e., "Eat with appetite") or repeat a familiar proverb. The writing on this bowl expresses good wishes for the owner: "Blessing, felicity, prosperity, well-being, happiness." Curiously, the inscription includes the start of an additional word, al, meaning "the," but not the rest of the word. The tall vertical strokes of these letters must have been included to make the overall visual effect of the inscription more harmonious. This bowl is thought to come from Samarqand, because the central motif of interlacing straps is also found on metal objects made there.

Bowl with Arabic Inscription, "Blessing, Prosperity, Well-being, Happiness", Earthenware; white slip with polychrome slip decoration under transparent glaze

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