Bowl

Bowl: bold foot rim. Clay: soft, compact, buff-white. Glaze: glossy greenish cream; crazed. Decoration: painted in coppery lustre with ruby reflections over glaze.

Historical period(s)
Fatimid period, 12th century
Medium
Earthenware painted over glaze with luster
Dimensions
H x Diam: 8.9 x 21 cm (3 1/2 x 8 1/4 in)
Geography
Egypt
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1936.2
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bowl

Keywords
earthenware, Egypt, Fatimid period (909 - 1171), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Bowl: bold foot rim. Clay: soft, compact, buff-white. Glaze: glossy greenish cream; crazed. Decoration: painted in coppery lustre with ruby reflections over glaze.

Label

Figural representations also played a prominent role in luster-painted ceramics from twelfth century Egypt.  Although the vessels were made from coarser clay than the earlier Iraqi examples, the decoration, like much of the art of the Fatimid period (909-1171), tended to be more animated and naturalistic.  The plate is also embellished with an inscription bestowing good wishes on its anonymous owner.

The small bowl is entirely decorated with individual words, such as "pleasure," "happiness," and "wealth."  Using an ornate kufic, or angular script, the potter has drawn on the decorative qualities of the written words to create a rather unusual design.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 300.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 15, pp. 42-43.
  • Content and Context of Visual Arts in the Islamic World. Monographs in the Fine Arts, no. 44 University Park, PA and London. pp. 68, 72, 76, figs. 1a, 1b.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 60, pp. 134-135.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.