Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Dish

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    September 1496-August 1497 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper, cast, the decoration incised (i.e. engraved or chased), tinned, inlaid with a black material

  • Museum number:

    374-1897

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 9E

The inscription on this decorative bowl contains three couplets by famous poets, all expressing good wishes for the owner.

It is made of copper covered with a layer of tin. The tinned metal once shone like silver. This bright surface would have contrasted strongly with the recessed background, which was filled with a black composition.

Physical description

Flat dish with a shallow foot-ring and low walls that curve inwards towards the flat rim. The decoration - an unusual three-part composition - has three medallions with cusped outlines filled with a lotus, two split palmettes and other leaves. The interstices are filled withe Chinese-style clouds. At the centre of the design is a small patterned disc. The background is cross-hatched.. The walls show six cartouches with round ends, which contain verses in Persian written in the thulth style, against a cross-hatched ground. Between the cartouches are six roundels containing a Y-pattern. The cartouches and roundels and the band that contains them are all defined by a continuous plain fillet. The spare corners around the roundels are filled with a fragment of arabesque. The rim is decorated with an oblique chain motif similar to that used in the central disc.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)

Date

September 1496-August 1497 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Copper, cast, the decoration incised (i.e. engraved or chased), tinned, inlaid with a black material

Marks and inscriptions

Jahân-at be-kâm u falak yâr bâd / Jahân-âfarin-at negahdâr bâd /
Be-kâm-i to bâdâ hame kâr-e to / Khodâvand bâdâ negahdâr-e to /
Be-kâm-i to bâdâ sepehr-i boland / ze chashm-i badân-at mabâdâ gazand
Sane 902 /
May the world comply with your wishes and Heaven be your friend!
May the Creator of the world be your guardian!
May all your affairs accord with your wishes!
May the Lord be your guardian!
May the high Heavens comply with your wishes!
May no harm come to you from evil men's eyes!
anno 902
A conventional combination of three couplets in Persian by three different poets: the first is by Sa'di, from the preface to his Bustan; the second is attributed to Daqiqi; and the third is from the Shahnamah of Firdawsi.

The date AH 902 is equivalent to AD 1496-7.

Dimensions

Diameter: 18.9 cm, Height: 1.8 cm

Object history note

Purchased on behalf of the South Kensington Museum (today the V&A) in 1897 from Edgar and Alice Whitaker, executors for the Istanbul estate of William Henry Wrench (1836-96), British Consul to Ottoman Turkey. During his diplomatic career, Wrench had assembled a private art collection of paintings, ceramics, metalwork, arms, textiles, carpets and other furnishings. These were well-known to curators at South Kensington: in 1892, the Museum purchased a set of four photographs, recording how Wrench had displayed the collection in his home in Pera, Istanbul.

Descriptive line

Tinned copper dish with lotuses, cloud bands and blessings in Persian, Iran, 1496-97.

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

A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, Le Bronze iranien, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1973, pp.92-3.
A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World 8-18th centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1982, pp.250-52, no. 110.
J.M. Rogers, Islamic Art and Design 1500-1700, British Museum, London, 1983, no.191.
Linda Komaroff, The Golden Disk of Heaven: Metalwork of Timurid Iran Costa Mesa, California, and New York, 1992, no.18.
Rachel Ward, Islamic Metalwork, London, 1993, p.106, fig 83.

Labels and date

Dish with Clouds and Lotuses
Iran
Dated 1496

Copper wares such as this dish were being made when the Safavids came to power. The tinned metal once shone like silver. It would have contrasted strongly with the recessed background, which was filled with a black composition. The inscription contains three couplets by famous poets, all expressing good wishes for the owner.

Copper, engraved, tinned and filled with a black composition

Museum no. 374-1897 [Jameel Gallery]

Production Note

dated AH 902

Categories

Metalwork

Collection

Middle East Section

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.