string(20) "edanmdm:fsg_F1957.24" Bowl - National Museum of Asian Art
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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    10th century
  • Geography

  • Material

    Earthenware painted under glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 11.2 x 39.3 x 39.3 cm (4 7/16 x 15 1/2 x 15 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Deep bowl on low ring foot with five-branched arabesque whorl around central rosette and Kufic inscription on side walls. Simple leaf decorations on outside Black-brown and dark brick-red slip with green spots on white slip under colorless glaze. Broken and reset, restorations in plaster.
    (Atil, 1973)
    The inner walls of this deep bowl possess a wide band of Arabic inscription written in dark-brown, enclosed by a border composed of alternating red and dark-brown scallops. The areas between the letters are filled with panels decorated with dark-brown dots, and red and brown four-petaled blossoms.
    The central portion of the piece is adorned with an abstract tree which has five branches terminating in trilobed palmettes and split-leaves revolving around a central six-petaled rosette. This area is painted in reserve with the dark-brown slip forming the background of the tree. The central rosette and certain details on the branches are depicted in red. The branches revolve in a clockwise direction, in accordance with the reading of the inscription, and produce a movement which accentuates the circular shape of the bowl. The subtle placement of the trunk with one branch reversed, gently interrupts the revolving movement and ingeniously points out the beginning of the inscription which surrounds it.
    The inscription is in two parts; the first portion begins after a small circle below the reversed branch of the tree and terminates with a floral motif; it is followed by a shorter phrase, placed on the bottom:
    It is said that he who is content with his own opinion runs into danger. Blessing the owner.
    The exeterior is divided into eight vertical zones by dark-brown branches which enclose three-petaled floral motifs painted in red.
    The Freer bowl is one of the largest and finest of the slip-painted wares executed in Khorasan and Transoxiana. With its exceptionally highly refined aesthetic and technical perfection of Samanid pottery (O.Grabar, "Notes on the Decorative Composition of a Bowl from Northeastern Iran," in Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp.91-98, fig.3).
    The kufic inscription, written in the eastern Iranian style, is similar to those seen on Numbers 8 and 11, indicating that all three pieces are close in date. Since this bowl and the plate described in Number 11 both employ red in their color scheme and use a similar composition with an inscription surrounding a revolving central motif composed of branches, palmettes and split-leaves, they may have been executed in the same center.
  • Inscriptions

    1. (Wheeler Thackston, Harvard University, Summer 1990) Inscription [Arb]
    yugalu gad khatara man istaghna bi-ra'y * baraka li-sahibih
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Engaging the Senses (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Arts of the Islamic World (May 3, 1998 to January 3, 2016)
    Islamic Art (May 9, 1993 to June 3, 1997)
    From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy (July 28, 1986 to February 6, 1987)
    Near Eastern Ceramics (May 10, 1985 to September 3, 1985)
    Near Eastern Ceramics (June 24, 1982 to September 23, 1982)
    Near Eastern Ceramics (May 14, 1981 to May 10, 1985)
    Art of the Near East (August 21, 1977 to December 14, 1979)
    Ceramics from the World of Islam (January 16, 1974 to July 1, 1974)
    Near Eastern Art (June 15, 1973 to May 7, 1975)
    2500 Years of Persian Art—Paintings, Pottery (February 10, 1972 to June 15, 1973)
    Near Eastern Art—Paintings, Pottery (August 18, 1967 to February 10, 1972)
    Near Eastern Art (January 1, 1963 to August 18, 1967)
    Special Exhibition of Persian Art (May 1, 1960 to August 11, 1961)
    Islamic Art, Gallery 6A (July 22, 1958 to June 5, 1964)
    Centennial Exhibition, Galleries 6 and 7 (February 25, 1956 to April 10, 1962)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 03: Engaging the Senses
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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