Feb 12, 2013





Diameter: 58 cm (22 13/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1980.179


Did you know?

The distinctively horned hats are seen on other artworks of the Ghaznavid period (977–1186).


The central subject is an enthroned ruler surrounded by couriers and musicians. The wide border is filled with an elaborately animated Kufic inscription ins which the shafts of the letters terminate in human busts, representing musicians and warriors; various animals; and human hands, holding a variety of symbolic objects. This complex inscription has not yeat been deciphered; it appears to be in Persian and to contain only benedictory phrases.

Around the outside of the rim, an Arabic inscription, in nashki letters, reads: "You elevated one [of God's] creature[s] and he has ruled with good fortune and blessing and happiness and security and felicity and victory."

That the scene does not refer to a specific royal personage but is rather only a representation of the abstract concept of the "Heavenly Banquet" as a symbol of apotheosis is indicated by the banner held over the head of the enthroned figure, which actually proclaims this vessel to be "the work of Ibrahim the Decorator [or the Engraver]."

See also
Islamic Art
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 

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