Mina‛i plate by Abu Zaid al-Kashani, 1187AD


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Date: A.H. 583/ A.D. 1187.
Iran.
Stonepaste; polychrome in-glaze and overglaze painted on an opaque monochrome glaze (mina'i).
Dimensions: H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm) Diam. of rim: 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm).
Accession Number: 64.178.2
Source: Metmuseum

This bowl and 64.178.1 are the earliest dated pieces attributed to Abu Zaid al-Kashani, a famous potter and painter specializing in both luster and mina'i. Inscribed in both Arabic and Persian, both bowls bear dates on the exterior, good wishes to their owners in the kufic band around the rim, and verses of poetry - composed by Abu Zaid himself - below the fish pond. The figural scenes do not directly illustrate the verses, but may relate thematically.
Inscription: -Interior (Arabic, angular script): (good wishes for the owner) -Interior (Persian, verse): "Seek to be human as long as thou art in this world, But with those who are human. If a man forsake his humanity, Then what is the difference between the cow, ass, demon, and man?" (by Minovi) -Exterior (Persian): "written on Saturday 1st day of Muharram of the year 583 Hijri [March 14, 1187 CE]".



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