VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bowl
SMV 28-8-2
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This bowl painted in blue on an opaque white tin glaze is a fine example of pottery dating from the early Abbasid period in Mesopotamia (so-called “Samarra ware”). It bears a three-lined inscription in delightful Kufic script reading “blessings to its owner – made by Mohammad al-Salah”. This cobalt blue inscription on a white background was inspired by porcelain imported from China. The composition of the Kufic writing accentuated by four palmettes creates a balanced tension between design and void space.

History of the Object
This bowl once belonged to the collection of a Persian gentleman by the name of Nazare Agha in Paris (about whom no further information is available). Apparently he had been an art dealer as the object was acquired from him by the museum in 1928. It has been referred to in a number of encyclopedias of world art and is now on permanent display in the State Museum of Ethnology, Munich.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Glazed pottery 
Measurements
diameter: 25,3 cm. 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Iraq 
Geography
Iraq 
Time period
AD 9th century ~ AD 10th century 
Creation date
9th Century - 10th Century 
Function
Decorative 
Acquisition
Acquired by the museum in 1928 from the art dealer, Nazare Agha. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State Property, Germany 
Museum
Five Continents Museum, Munich 
Credit line
State Museum of Ethnology, Munich, Germany 

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