Bowl Emulating Chinese Stoneware

Object Name: Bowl

Date: 9th century

Geography: Attributed to Iraq, probably Basra

Medium: Earthenware; painted in blue on opaque white glaze

Dimensions: H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Diam. 8 in. (20.3 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1963

Accession Number: 63.159.4


Ceramics such as this bowl are among the first examples to incorporate calligraphy as the main element of decoration. The Iraqi potters of the ninth century attempted to emulate the luminous quality and hard body of Chinese whitewares by using a tin‑opacified white glaze. The Arabic word ghibta (happiness) is repeated twice in cobalt blue at the center.