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Bowl with Kufic Inscription

Arts of the Islamic World

On View: Arts of the Islamic World, 2nd floor
A white tin glaze covers the dark clay body of this bowl, but was meant to give the appearance of Chinese porcelain, which was treasured in the Middle East at this time. Although Middle Eastern potters had not yet discovered the secret to porcelain, they had developed a formula for drawing with cobalt, a technique the Chinese had yet to master. (The Chinese example shown adjacent, from roughly the same period, has pooled cobalt glaze that must be contained within carved lines to keep it from smearing during firing.) The inscription here, written in cobalt in the early Arabic script known as Kufic, reads, “Made by Abu al-Taqi.”
MEDIUM Ceramic; earthenware, painted in cobalt blue on an opaque white glaze
DATES 9th century
DYNASTY `Abbasid
PERIOD Abbasid period
DIMENSIONS 2 1/2 x 8 5/8 in. (6.4 x 21.9 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed: "the work of Abu al-Taqi"
INSCRIPTIONS مما عمل أبو التقي made by Abu al-Taqi The Inscription read by Abdullah Ghouchani
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
PROVENANCE Prior to 1958, provenance not yet documented; by 1958, acquired by Ernest Erickson of New York; December 16, 1986, gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc. to the Brooklyn Museum.
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MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Islamic World, 2nd floor
CAPTION Bowl with Kufic Inscription, 9th century. Ceramic; earthenware, painted in cobalt blue on an opaque white glaze, 2 1/2 x 8 5/8 in. (6.4 x 21.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.227.14_top_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE top, 86.227.14_top_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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