The decoration of this large dish is its impressive Arabic calligraphy: a proverb in large Kufic letters surrounds the inner rim, reading “A free person is free, even when suffering from a loss. Good luck!” Pottery of that kind survived in large numbers. They are examples of the court production on behalf of the Samanid dynasty that ruled East Iran and Central Asia from the 9th century onwards. Their centres of production were probably in Nishapur and Afrasiyab (Ancient Samarqand), but such objects were found in many other locations. The elegance of the inscription and the use of the Arabic language show their high esteem: for the upper class Arabic was regarded as particularly noble and learned.