Antique Islamic Brass Magic Bowl.
Subject: magic bowl
Weight: 398 grams
Total height : 4.5 cm
Diameter : 14.7 cm
Engraved magical metal bowls were used to cure diseases and protect against bites or stings from venomous snakes, scorpions, and rabid dogs. Women sought the help of magic bowls when they wished to have children, and they were said to grant pregnant women a happy birth. Pictures of lovers on vessels show that magic bowls and plates were also used for love magic.
Divination was another application, and by the early 19th c. In his novel The Adventures of Hadji Baba of Isfahan, James Morier describes how a dervish uses a magic bowl in Isfahan to recover stolen money. The oldest magic bowls date from the 12th to 15th centuries. Scorpions, snakes and dogs were often depicted on them. Inscriptions on these bowls describe in detail how to use them. According to this, water is left in the bowl in order to transmit the magical power of the bowl to the water, which is then given to the sick person to drink.
Later bowls no longer have instructions for use, but verses from the Koran, other religious texts and magical symbols and numbers. Many bowls have also been decorated with images of the 12 signs of the zodiac, some also with representations of the classic seven planets.
An important classification criterion is the shape of the bowls. The author describes the development of the well-known bowl shapes from the beginning of the 12th/13th century until modern times. The magic bowls produced from 1500 onwards usually have a hump called an omphalos in the middle of the inside.
*Due to photography and handwork, color variations may occur.
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