Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Ascetic's bowl

Ascetic's bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tinned copper

  • Museum number:

    755-1889

  • Gallery location:

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

Bowls for collecting alms were used by dervishes, the name given to Muslim mystics who lived in religious poverty. This example is engraved along the rim with a Shi’ite prayer for the Fourteen Immaculates. These were the members of Muhammad's family whom the Shi'ite Muslims of Iran hold in greatest esteem. The Safavid dynasty (ruled 1501-1722), who came to power about the time this bowl was made, were both Shi’ite Muslims and the leaders of a dervish order.

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

Physical description

Dervish's wallet or kashkul, boat-shaped, made of tinned copper and engraved with Arabic text and floral decoration.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)

Date

ca. 1500 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Tinned copper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscription band consists of prayer calling God's blessings on the Fourteen Protected Ones
O God may Thy Grace descend upon al-Mustafa, al-Murtada, The Lady, the two Grandsons, Zayn al-'Ibad al Baqri/ qir, al-Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Rida, al-Taqi, al-Naqi, al-Askari, The Guide

Underside of the vessel has owner's mark incised in the 18th century, and superimposed by another owner's mark in the 19th century. Only the date of the earlier mark can be made out under the new inscription.
1145/24 June 1732-13 June 1733

Second inscription
O Muhammad! Abbas ali Agha

Dimensions

Length: 25 cm maximum, Height: 11.9 cm maximum, Depth: 13.5 cm maximum

Object history note

Historical significance: Possibly the earliest datable prayer on metal calling God's blessing on the Fourteen Immaculates.

Descriptive line

Beggar's bowl, Iran, about 1500.

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

A. S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World 8-18th Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1982, pp.253-54, no.112.
Linda Komaroff, The Golden Disk of Heaven: Metalwork of Timurid Iran Costa Mesa, California, and New York, 1992, pp.203, 205, no.23.

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Beggar's bowl
Iran or Afghanistan
About 1500

Bowls for collecting alms were used by dervishes - Muslim mystics who lived in religious poverty. This example is engraved along the rim with a Shi'ite prayer for the Fourteen Immaculates. The Safavid dynasty, who came to power about the time this bowl was made, were both Shi'ites and the leaders of a dervish order.

Copper engraved, tinned and filled with a black composition

Museum no. 755-1889 [Jameel Gallery]
DERVISH'S WALLET
Tinned copper
PERSIAN; 18th century (Richard Collection)

DERVISH'S BEGGING BOWL
Tinned copper, engraved with Arabic texts and floral scrolls.
PERSIAN; 17th century [Used until 10/2002]

Materials

Copper

Techniques

Tinned

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.