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  • Object:

    Footed bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (cast)

  • Date:

    1200-1300 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bell-metal, cast and turned. Engraved with champlevé designs and partly inlaid with silver.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Broad spreading foot rising to a narrow section then opening out to give rise to a bowl with high, wide rounded sides.
An epigraphic band framed by two silver fillets runs around the rim.
Below, are three rows of roundels with interlacing fillets. The roundels each enclose one of three designs framed by a pearl border, a central six-petalled rossette, a swatika-type motif or an X motif with a circular node.
The spaces between the roundels are filled with square knot patterns.
Around the base, thirty-six silver-inlaid lotus blossoms, their incised fames interlacing, point downwards.
The foot is encircled with an epigraphic band framed by two fillets.

Place of Origin

Iran (cast)


1200-1300 (cast)



Materials and Techniques

Bell-metal, cast and turned. Engraved with champlevé designs and partly inlaid with silver.

Marks and inscriptions

Might! Might and riches, laudation and praise, godliness and beneficence, open-handedness and generosity, forbearance and reserve, science and fidelity, might, A-L-A, and riches, f[inis] (?) and praise and A
Persian; thuluth; upper inscription; engraved

Might! A! A-L-A! A! Annihilation [of contingency] perpetually. Might! A! A! L-A! perpetually! Lasting life perpetually
thuluth; lower inscription


Height: 14.2 cm maximum, Diameter: 17.6 cm body maximum, Diameter: 16.7 - 17.1 cm of opening, Diameter: 8.85 - 8.9 cm of foot

Object history note

Purchased for £850 from J. Banach-Bennett, 16 July 1968.
Inter-departmental transfer to MES, RF 2011/1170.

Historical context note

According to A.S. Melikian-Chirvani this is the earliest Islamic example on record of a type that goes back to the protohistorical period.

Descriptive line

Footed bowl, cast brass, engraved decoration and traces of silver inlay, inscriptions around the rim and foot, Iran, 1200-1300

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, London:HMSO, 1982, p162-164, ISBN 0 11 290252 9


Bell-metal; Silver


Engraved; Turned; Inlaid




Middle East Section

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