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Chihil Kilid (Forty Keys) Divination Bowl with Inscriptions, Zodiac Signs, and Four Plaquettes

Catalogue Description:
A brass divination bowl with a raised semi-spherical center. There are tiny inscriptions engraved on the entire surface, both interior and exterior of the bowl. On the interior, the inscriptions in naskhi script appear in round, overlapping medallions. On the exterior, inscriptions also appear in round medallions; however, within a border below the rim, the inscriptions alternate with depictions of the zodiac signs. Inscriptions also cover the surface of the everted rim. There is an inscription on the bottom stating the date of the piece 1090 AH/1679 CE and a blessing to the owner (his name is not given). The piece arrived with four inscribed brass plaquettes (see Text Entry for further information; two are thought to be pieces of Chinese mirrors [originally thought to be Armenian?], and other two are inscribed in Arabic). The inscriptions between the zodiac signs, mentioned above, point to Shi`a themes.

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