Footed Bowl

Object Name: Footed bowl

Date: early 13th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Bronze; inlaid with silver and black compound

Dimensions: H. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
Diam. 6 15/16 in. (17.6 cm)
Wt. 26.3 oz. (745.7 g)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891

Accession Number: 91.1.543


This footed bowl has a rich program of inlaid silver decoration. There are epigraphic bands under the rim and around the foot, each with blessings for the bowl's owner in animated script, with a band of medallions containing the signs of the Zodiac in the middle. Each medallion is framed by a ring of pointed rays that underscore the solar symbolism of the decoration, and each sign is shown with its Planetary Lord.
In Arabic, Aquarius is called al-dalw ("the water bucket") when referring to the sign of the Zodiac, and sakib al-ma ("the water pourer") when referring to the constellation. Correspondingly, illustrations of the Zodiac show Saturn, the Planetary Lord of Aquarius, raising a bucket of water from a well, whereas illustrations of the constellation, following the original Greek name, show a male figure pouring water from a vessel.