Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1500-1510
Silver inlaid with gold and niello
H x W x D: 3.2 x 11.2 x 11.2 cm (1 1/4 x 4 7/16 x 4 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 04: Engaging the Senses: Art in the Islamic World
Metalwork, Vessel


casting, chasing, incising, inlay, Iran, Lathe work, nasta'liq script, niello, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), spinning (metalwork), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Heeramaneck Galleries


Inscriptions often refer to an object's function. The poem encircling the rim of this bowl alludes to drinking wine as a means of reaching the beloved--a common mystical metaphor for spiritual enlightenment. Written in fine nasta'liq script, the lines of poetry are from a well-known ode (ghazal) by the Persian poet Hafiz (died 1390). They conclude as follows:

Here we are with our wine and the ascetics with their piety,
Let us see which one the beloved will take.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. cat. 26, p. 186.
  • Art et Societe dans le Monde Iranien. Bibliotheque Iranienne, no. 26 Paris. p. 165.
  • Linda Komaroff. The Timurid Phase in Iranian Metalwork: Formulation and Realization of a Style. Ann Arbor. cat. 17.
  • Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani. Four Pieces of Islamic Metalwork: Some Notes on a Previously Unknown School. vol. 10, December 1976. p. 25-26, figs. 4-5.
  • Najmieh Batmanglij. From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table. Washington. p. 33.
  • October Events at the Smithsonian: Smithsonian Highlights. vol. 16, no. 7 Washington, October 1985. p. 225.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum