Skip to Main Content

The Wade Cup with Animated Script

1200–1221
Overall: 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); Diameter: 16.1 cm (6 5/16 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: 116 Islamic

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

This is known as the Wade Cup, after J. H. Wade who bequeathed the funds for its acquisition

Description

The highlight of the cup’s decoration is the inscription around the rim, which you see on the walls around you, with letters composed of human figures, animals, and birds. This is known as animated script and it developed in northeast Iran or Afghanistan during the mid-1100s and migrated westward. The inscription on the rim of the Wade Cup is the pinnacle of this form of script with its full-figure animation. The body of the cup is covered with interlacing bands of compartments containing tiny figures of humans and animals. These represent the 12 signs of the zodiac from astrology, the practice of interpreting the influence of planets and stars on earthly affairs. Astrology began in Mesopotamia, was adopted by the Greeks, and then absorbed into medieval Islamic culture through translations of Greek texts.
The Wade Cup with Animated Script

The Wade Cup with Animated Script

1200–1221

Iran, Seljuq period of Iran (1037–1194)

Videos

The Wade Cup

The Inscription

Signs of the Zodiac

Creative Characters

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.