Samarqand (Uzbekistan) or Nishapur (Iran)
Earthenware, red body, white engobe, underglaze-painted
H. 7 in. (17.8 cm), Diam. 18 in. (45.7 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1965 (65.106.2)
Inscriptions figure prominently in the decoration of objects and buildings throughout the history of Islamic art. Yet it is in Samanid bowls, such as this one, that they were used with an unequalled purity and power, both as calligraphy and to enhance the object they decorate. This bowl is an unusually large, especially fine example of its kind.