Bowl with Pseudo-Inscriptional Design, Earthenware; white slip with polychrome slip decoration under transparent glaze

Bowl with Pseudo-Inscriptional Design

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
10th century
Geography:
Probably made in Uzbekistan
Medium:
Earthenware; white slip with polychrome slip decoration under transparent glaze
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/16 in. (10.6 cm)
Diam. of rim: 11 13/16 in. (30 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund, Lewis and Gemma Hall Gift, Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, and Harvey B. Plotnick Gift, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.415
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The main decoration of this bowl contains a band of epigraphy that might be read as the graphic contraction of the word "bi ’l-yumn" ("with happiness") or "al-yumn" ("happiness"). The decorative aspect of the letters is clearly preeminent and goes to the detriment of their legibility, to the extent that the band might be regarded as a pseudo-inscription.
However, such benedictory formulas were common on everyday objects of this period, such as pottery and metal.
[ Momtaz Islamic Art, until 2003; sold to MMA]
Carboni, Stefano, Navina Haidar, and Maryam Ekhtiar. "Recent Acquistions: A Selection 2003-2004." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 62, no. 2 (Fall 2004). pp. 10-11, ill.