Skip Navigation

Bowl with Kufic Inscription

Abu Al-Ja'far

Arts of the Islamic World

On View: Great Hall, Center, 1st floor
A white tin glaze covers the dark clay body of this bowl, but was meant to give the appearance of Chinese porcelain, which was treasured in the Middle East at this time. Although Middle Eastern potters had not yet discovered the secret to porcelain, they had developed a formula for drawing with cobalt, a technique the Chinese had yet to master. (The Chinese example shown adjacent, from roughly the same period, has pooled cobalt glaze that must be contained within carved lines to keep it from smearing during firing.) The inscription here, written in cobalt in the early Arabic script known as Kufic, reads, “Made by Abu al-Taqi.”
ARTIST Abu Al-Ja'far
MEDIUM Ceramic; earthenware, painted in cobalt blue on an opaque white glaze
DATES 9th century
DYNASTY `Abbasid
DIMENSIONS 2 1/2 x 8 5/8 in. (6.4 x 21.9 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed: "the work of Abu al-Ja-far"
INSCRIPTIONS ??? ??? ??? ????? made by Abu al-Taqi The Inscription read by Abdullah Ghouchani
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Great Hall, Center, 1st floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 86.227.14
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Abu Al-Ja'far. Bowl with Kufic Inscription, 9th century. Ceramic; earthenware, painted in cobalt blue on an opaque white glaze, 2 1/2 x 8 5/8 in. (6.4 x 21.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.227.14_top_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE top, 86.227.14_top_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.