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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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tile

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.687

  • Description

    Porcelain tile. Underglaze blue on one side with large roundel in the centre with four ruyi sprays and reserved triangular panel with long Arabic inscription. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1506-1521
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 458 millimetres
    • Width: 364 millimetres
    • Depth: 15 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        at the bottom of the panel
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明正德年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Zhengde nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made during the Zhengde reign of the Great Ming dynasty
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        on front
      • Inscription Language

        Arabic
      • Inscription Translation

        ‘And that the places of prostration belong to God; so do not call on anyone along with God. And that when the servant of God stood to call to Him they were almost on him in swarms. Say, “I call only to my Lord and I do not associate anyone with Him.”’
      • Inscription Comment

        Arabic text from the Qur'an, chapter 72, verses 18 to 20:
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Zhengde 1506-1521Room 95 label text:

    PDF B687

    Tablet with Arabic calligraphy


    This rare tablet carries an Arabic text from the Qur'an, chapter 72, verses 18 to 20: ‘And that the places of prostration belong to God; so do not call on anyone along with God. And that when the servant of God stood to call to Him they were almost on him in swarms. Say, “I call only to my Lord and I do not associate anyone with Him.”’Perhaps it was positioned within a shrine. It also has an underglaze blue Zhengde mark.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Zhengde mark and period, AD 1506–21

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 125 bibliographic details
    • Oriental Ceramic Society 1971 p.112, no.168 bibliographic details
    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.35, no.71 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.66, no.50 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.70, no.B687, pl.XV bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.79, no.69 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.96, no.B687 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004A pp 82-83, no. 33 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case19/sh5

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: Acquired Aotheby sale June 16, 1939, lot 71, via Norton £45. Major L. F. Hay Collection.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.687

Porcelain tile. Underglaze blue on one side with large roundel in the centre with four ruyi sprays and reserved triangular panel with long Arabic inscription. Inscription on base.

Porcelain tile. Underglaze blue on one side with large roundel in the centre with four ruyi sprays and reserved triangular panel with long Arabic inscription. Inscription on base.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39951

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