Inkwell with Kufic and Naski Inscriptions, Artist: Muhammad ibn Abu Sahl al-Harawi (Iranian, active ca. 1200), Date (Period): ca. 1200 (Medieval) Medium: bronze, inlaid with silver and copper Measurements: H: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
This inkwell is inscribed with invocations petitioning God's graces for the owner. One reads: "With joy, divine grace, fortune, spiritual integrity, piety." The sentiment of the inscribed prayers is appropriate for this ceremonial inkwell, which was likely used for writing official acts of state.
[Hamadan Treasure]; Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
The Art of the Writing Instrument from Paris to Persia
July 2-September 25, 2011
This focus show features writing instruments produced in cosmopolitan centers such as Paris, Isfahan and Kyoto. Every culture that values the art of writing has found ways to reflect the prestige and pleasure of writing through beautiful tools. Writing implements, such as pens, knives and scissors, as well as storage chests, pen-cases and writing desks, were often fashioned with precious materials: mother of pearl, gems, imported woods, gold and silver. Once owned by statesmen, calligraphers, wealthy merchants and women of fashion, these stunning objects highlight the ingenuity of the artists who created them and underline the centrality of the written word in the diverse cultures that produced them.
For more information please visit: The Walters Art Museum