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

Arts of the Islamic World

MEDIUM Copper alloy (brass), engraved with repoussé center and inlaid with black composites
  • Place Made: Western Iran, Iran
  • DATES 1679
    DYNASTY Safavid
    PERIOD Safavid
    DIMENSIONS 3in. (7.6cm) 3 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/2in. (7.6 x 19.1 x 19.1cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1989.149.11
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson in memory of her husband
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Chihil Kilid (Forty Keys) Divination Bowl with Inscriptions, Zodiac Signs, and Four Plaquettes, 1679. Copper alloy (brass), engraved with repoussé center and inlaid with black composites, 3in. (7.6cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson in memory of her husband, 1989.149.11. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.1989.149.11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    "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.
    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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (80%)
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