Although I called it a possible direction for “future work”, I have actually already started searching because it’s such an interesting question.

One book that I thought would be promising was Later Islamic Pottery by Arthur Lane, published in 1957 by Faber and Faber (no ISBN, NK 3880 L251 at OCAD’s Dorothy H. Hoover Library). I scanned through the book and identified a number of potential works for investigation (plates 12a, 20a, 52a, 60a, and 72b), but when I looked at the text, I found that all of these bowl-like forms have been described as “dishes”.

Another book I borrowed from Dorothy Hoover was Masterpieces of World Ceramics (ISBN 9781-851-775279, NK 3780 V42), which I also thought was promising. I scanned through it and noticed exactly one piece with writing and which has actually been listed as a bowl. However, the writing looks more like lettering than calligraphy.

So here are already two problems: Where do I find a list of potential works to investigate, and how do I restrict my search to pieces that actually are considered bowls? Or since a good number of bowls I saw at Empty Bowls and in 500 Bowls actually looked more to me like dishes when is a bowl a dish and a dish a bowl?