Lot 9
  • 9

A Rare Samarkand Calligraphic Dish Painted in Prawn-Pink, Central Asia, 10th Century

40,000 - 50,000 GBP
120,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 23.4cm. diam.
of truncated conical form with steep flaring walls on a short foot, painted in prawn-pink and brown slip on a cream slip ground with a central palmette enclosed in a roundel on a stippled ground encircled by a radial inscription in bold pink, the interstices of the design scattered with shaped panels filled with brown stippling interspersed with larger pink dots, the back with bold stylised leaves

Catalogue Note

yara al-bakhil bi-nayl (?) al-mal wa wahida inna a [l-jawad] yara fi malihi subula

'The miser sees one purpose in obtaining wealth, while the generous one sees [many] possibilities in his wealth'

An unusual and delightful touch is the way that the calligrapher paints the last word subula in a small hand in a drop-shaped motif.

Related calligraphic wares are known from Afrasiyab (Samarkand), see Terres secrètes de Samarcande. Céramiques du VIIIe au XIIIe siècle, Paris, 1992, nos. 132, 144, 146 and 147, p.55. The prawn-pink inscriptions are the rarest and most sought-after.