Diameter: 34.600 cm
ME OA 1958.12-18.1
Room 34: The Islamic world
Earthenware bowl with kufic inscription
From Nishapur, western Iran
11th century AD
'He who speaks, his speech is silver, but silence is a ruby'
The decoration on this luxury bowl from Nishapur comes entirely from the fine calligraphy around its rim. This relies on the simple contrast of black and white, and the elegant arrangement of the Kufic script, the tall swaying stalks of some letters reaching down into the bowl. Inside the dish is a small ornamental flourish, linking the black inscription around the rim with the centre of the circle. A similar script is used in iranian manuscripts of the same period.
B. Brend, Islamic art (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)
E. J. Grube and others, Cobalt and lustre: the first c (London, Nour Foundation, 1994)
C.K. Wilkinson, Nishapur: pottery of the Early (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973)