Wine Bowl Inscribed with the Names of the Twelve Shi`a Imams
Arts of the Islamic World
Despite the Qur’an’s warning against strong drink, many Sufis consider wine liquid sunlight, whose intoxicating properties can reveal a reflection of the divine and induce a form of ecstasy. The Persian poet Hafiz (1315–1390) also compared red wine to tears of blood resulting from the suffering of the soul estranged from the beloved. The form of this wine bowl appears to be a standard type among Iranian metal wares of the Safavid period and must have been familiar to Indian artists of later periods, since one is featured in the nineteenth-century portrait of Shaykh Chishti nearby. The inscriptions on such bowls, engraved in nastacliq script, tend to be in Arabic, Persian, or a combination of the two, and are often laced with mystical references.
Copper; cast, raised, and turned, then tinned; engraved and inlaid
late 16th-early 17th century
H: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)
Diam. of body: 7 in. (17.8 cm)
Diam. of rim: 5 15/16 in. (15.1 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed with the names of the 12 Shi`a imams
This item is not on view
Gift of Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson in memory of her husband
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Wine Bowl Inscribed with the Names of the Twelve Shi`a Imams, late 16th-early 17th century. Copper; cast, raised, and turned, then tinned; engraved and inlaid, H: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson in memory of her husband, 1989.149.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.149.4_PS2.jpg)
overall, 1989.149.4_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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