The poetic inscription around the bowl contains Persian verses in praise of the kashkul, also found on other examples by Hajji 'Abbas, the steel maker of Isfahan. The inscription also includes a verse from the Gulestan of Sa'di.
A very closely related kashkul, also signed by Hajji Abbas and with a similar decorative repertoire is in the Tanavoli Collection (James W. Allan and Brian Gilmour, Persian Steel, The Tanavoli Collection, Oxford, 2000, p. 318). Allan there cites a number of parallels which include one in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, originally dated AH 1207 (1792-3 AD). That has more recently been published as dating from the late 19th century (Iran in the Hermitage, exhibition catalogue (in Russian), St. Petersburg, 2004, no.147, p.130). Another related example is in the Museum of the Gulestan Palace, Tehran (Arthur Upham Pope, A Survey of Persian Art, London, 1938, p.1394D). Another is in the Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow, which is dated AH 1296 (1879-80 AD). One sold in these Rooms, 9 October 1990, lot 119. That was dated AH 1325 (1902-03 AD). Our example is dated AH 1271/1854-55 AD and is thus Hajji Abbas' earliest published work. The wide time span, between the kashkul sold in 1990 and the present one may suggest that Hajji Abbas in fact refers not to an individual but to a workshop. It is likely, from the early date, that this is the work of the master himself, but some of the later examples may be the product of a younger relative or colleague.
For a full discussion on the kashkul and the origin of its form please see A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, 'From the Royal Boat to the Beggar's Bowl', Islamic Art, Vol. IV, 1991, pp.3-111).