10th century AD
earthenware, painted in purplish-black slip under a colourless glaze
8 x 28cm
In contrast to most Nishapur and Afrasiyab inscription wares, where the white ground predominates, this bowl is almost completely covered by an elaborate floriated inscription and interlacing bands in black. The opulent decoration almost swamps the inscription, which appears to be the repetition of one word, possibly reading, ittaqi wa (‘Be pious, and’).
E.J. Grube et al, Cobalt and Lustre. The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery, The Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume IX, London 1994, cat.68, p.79. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.41, p.53.