© The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.

Name of Object:

Bowl emulating Chinese stoneware


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Date of Object:

Hegira late second–late 3rd century / AD 9th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Earthenware; painted in blue on opaque white glaze

Period / Dynasty:



Probably Basra, Iraq


This ceramic bowl, boldly decorated in cobalt blue against a parchment-like white slip, is one of the earliest examples to incorporate calligraphy as the main element of decoration. The Arabic word ghibta (happiness) is repeated on two lines in the centre and creates a balanced composition when combined with the half-circles decorating the rim. Iraqi potters of the ninth century attempted to emulate the luminous quality and hard body of Chinese whitewares by using a tin‑opacified white glaze.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1963

Citation of this web page:

 "Bowl emulating Chinese stoneware" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;us;Mus23;33;en

MWNF Working Number: US3 33


 Artistic Introduction

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Calligraphy Ceramics


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