Historical period(s)
Fatimid period, 12th century
earthenware painted over glaze with luster
H x W: 6.7 x 26.1 cm (2 5/8 x 10 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 03: Engaging the Senses: Art in the Islamic World
Ceramic, Vessel


dance, earthenware, Egypt, Fatimid period (909 - 1171), WWII-era provenance

To 1946
Brummer Gallery, Inc., New York. [1]

From 1946
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from the Brummer Gallery, Inc., New York. [2]


[1] Object folder, undated folder sheet note. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Brummer Gallery, Inc.


Figural representations, such as this sensuous female dancer, played a prominent role in luster-painted ceramics in twelfth-century Egypt. Although the vessels were made from coarser clay than 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 further embellished with an inscription bestowing good wishes on its anonymous owner.

Published References
  • Muhammad Hassan Zaki. Kunuz al-Fatimiyin: Treasures of the Fatimids. Publications du Musee Arabe du Caire Cairo. pl. 33B.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, 1960-1966. vol. 22: pl. 65.
  • Franz Rosenthal. Four Essays on Art and Literature in Islam. The L.A. Mayer Memorial Studies in Islamic Art and Archaeology, vol. 2 London. pl. 18.
  • Perry Blythe Cott. Siculo-Arabic Ivories. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology, Folio Series, no. 3 Princeton. pl. 78 b.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 298.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Painting in the Fatimid Period: A Reconstruction. vol. 9 Ann Arbor. fig. 2, 10.
  • Masterpieces of Western and Near Eastern Ceramics. 8 vols., Tokyo and New York. pl. 30.
  • Aly Bey Bahgat, Felix Massoul. Le Ceramique Musulmane de l'Egypte. Cairo. pls. 18-4, 26-6.
  • Giorgio Levi Della Vida, Richard Ettinghausen. Studi Orientalistici in Onore di Giorgio Levi Della Vida. Pubblicazioni dell'Instituto per l'Oriente, no. 52 2 vols., Rome. p. 5.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Medieval Near Eastern Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Baltimore. p. 17.
  • Annette Hagedorn. Islamic Art. Germany. p. 35.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 16, pp. 44-45.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary, 1946-1947. Washington. p. 46, pl. 1.
  • Farhad Daftary, Zulfikar Hirji. The Ismailis: An Illustrated History. London. p. 92.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 58, pp. 130-131.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. pp. 158-181.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, O. Graber. The Art and Architecture of Islam, 650-1250. The Pelican History of Art Hammondsworth, Middlesex, England and New York. p. 200, fig. 189.
  • Gaston Maspero, Jean Maspero. Melanges Maspero. 3 vols., Le Caire, 1934-. pp. 249-251, figs. 16-7, J-L.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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