A Rare Samarkand Calligraphic Dish Painted in Prawn-Pink, Central Asia, 10th Century
- 23.4cm. diam.
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.