Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

According to the elegant inscription encircling the rim of this fine beaten-brass bowl, it was made for the Mamluk sultan al-Malik al-Muzaffar, Saif al-Din Hajji, who ruled for only one year from 1347 to 1348. Like many other Mamluk vessels, the bowl's interior base is adorned with a fish-whirl design centered on a radiating sun disk.

Egypt or Syria. 1346-1347 A.D. 10.3 x 23.5 x 23.5 cm. Courtesy of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution; Lent by the Nuhad es-Said Collection.

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