This exceptionally beautiful basin is covered with an overall engraved decoration that brings together figural images, calligraphic compositions, and complex geometric patterns over a bed of floral scrolls. The upper band shows a style of interlaced and animated script that is predominantly used on metalwork. All the uprights are interlaced midway, most ending with a human head in a style that made its early appearance in eastern Iran during the eleventh century. The bottom row has representations of the twelve signs of the zodiac, also typical of metalwork from Khorasan. This bowl demonstrates how some metalworking techniques, like high-tin bronze (known as bell metal), and styles such as human-headed calligraphy, moved from their places of origin during the thirteenth century through the migration of artists and the exchange of objects.
Source: Aga Khan Museum
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