Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Begging Bowl

Object Name:
Begging bowl
late 19th–early 20th century
Attributed to Central Asia
Silver; fire-gilded with applied silver chain decoration, carnelians and turquoises, and tassels.
3 1/4 x 9 in. (8.3 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2007
Accession Number:
Not on view
Begging bowls, or kashkuls, were used by traveling dervishes, serving as receptacles for alms. Islamic mendicant dervishes are associated with Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, thanks to which Islam was dispersed around much of Central Asia. Originally, kashkuls were made of a large nutshell from the Seychelles islands known as coco-de-mer; this piece is made of silver echoing the typical nutlike kashkul shape. It is decorated with carnelians in diamond and teardrop shapes, turquoise, and a silver chain with tassels.
Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, Toronto, Canada (until 2007; gifted to MMA)
New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Light of the Sufis: an introduction to the mystical arts of Islam," June 5, 2009–September 7, 2009, no. 8b.

Houston. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Light of the Sufis: an introduction to the mystical arts of Islam," May 16, 2010–August 8, 2010, no. 8b.

Akbarnia, Ladan, and Francesca Leoni. "The Mystical Arts of Islam." In Light of the Sufis. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2010. no. 8b, pp. 28-29, ill. p. 29 (color).

Diba, Layla S. "Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection." In Turkmen Jewelry. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 188, p. 225, ill. pl. 188 (color).

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