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Bowl with Kufic Inscription

Abu Al-Ja'far

Arts of the Islamic World

This distinctive bowl is from one of the earliest periods of Islamic ceramic production. Its shape and opaque white glaze appear to be inspired by Chinese porcelain wares exported to the Middle East in the ninth and tenth centuries. The pioneering use of cobalt blue glaze on a white ground by the ʿAbbasids, who effectively ruled Iraq from 750 to 950, proved to be a successful combination that inspired Islamic ceramic production for centuries. Significantly, this bowl appears to carry the potter’s signature: “Among the works of Abu’l Taqi (Father of the Pious One).”
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"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
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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
IMAGE top, 86.227.14_top_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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