Artistic Handcraft -Bowl with calligraphic decorations

Brass, silver-inlaid
Size: Diameter: 18 cm 
Origin and time: first half of the 14th century, Egypt or Syria
Catalogue: Schätze des Aga Khan Museum, AKTC
Inv. No. AKM 00610

The silver-inlaid inscription of this Mameluke brass bowl reads: “To His Excellency, the Lordly, the Amir, the Learned, the Just, the Heroic, the Sustainer, the Flawless, the Defender, the Responsible, [the Amir of] al-Malik an-Nasir.” This is a typical formulaic inscription meant to wish fame and luck to the owner of the object. This inscription can be found on various artifacts, from ceramic bowls and enameled glass to mosque lamps. The interior of the bowl is decorated with a sun disk and six fish. If the bowl is filled with water the sun and the fish appear to be gleaming. The sun can be seen both as a symbol for the lord and his wealth, as well as the giver of life. AF