Lusterware bowl decorated with dragons

Bowl with straight side widening at the rim and high foot. In the center is a medallion with foliate forms evolving from a four-partite element, enclosed by a band of cursive inscriptions painted in reserve. The inner walls contain two scaled bands which intertwine around a bird and terminate in four pairs of confronting dragon heads. Kufic letters rendered in reserve appear between the scaled bands while a quatrain written in the cursive style is placed between the dragon heads. Another cursive inscription, written in reserve, encircles the rim. The exterior is painted in reserve and contains large leaves enclosed by vines.

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Historical period(s)
1211 or 1213
Medium
Clay with lustreware glaze
Dimensions
H x W: 10.2 x 15.4 cm (4 x 6 1/16 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1981.29
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bowl

Keywords
bird, dragon, flower, Iran, kufic script
Provenance

Kevorkian Collection [1]

1968
Sale, Sotheby's, in 1968 [2]

Edwin Binney, 3rd [3]

To 1982
Ahuan (Islamic Art Services Limited), London, to 1982

From 1982
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Ahuan (Islamic Art Services Limited) in 1981

Notes:

[1]According to Curatorial Note 5, E. Atil, 1981, in the object record. See also, Curatorial Note 2, E. Atil, 1982, in the object record.

[2] See Note 1.

[3] See Note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ahuan (Islamic Art Services Limited)
Edwin Binney 3rd 1925-1986

Description

Bowl with straight side widening at the rim and high foot. In the center is a medallion with foliate forms evolving from a four-partite element, enclosed by a band of cursive inscriptions painted in reserve. The inner walls contain two scaled bands which intertwine around a bird and terminate in four pairs of confronting dragon heads. Kufic letters rendered in reserve appear between the scaled bands while a quatrain written in the cursive style is placed between the dragon heads. Another cursive inscription, written in reserve, encircles the rim. The exterior is painted in reserve and contains large leaves enclosed by vines.

Inscription(s)

(E. Atil, 1982) The inscriptions, similar to other Kashan wares, are written in a typically loose and careless style. According to Oliver Hoare of AHUAN, there is a date, Shawwal 609, on the piece. Upon careful study and search, this date was found on the innermost band painted in reserve (^o^, see photocopy in file for placement): "Fi Shawwal sana tis'a wa sitta-mi'a (In Shawwal the year nine and six hundred.)"

The word (^o^) "tis'a" (that is, nine) could also be read as (^o^) "sab" (that is, seven). Therefore the date given is either Shawwal 609 (February-March 1213) or Shawwal 607 (March-April 1211). This portion of the bowl is badly worn and the letters are not clear.

Published References
  • Catalogue of Egyptian, Western Asiatic, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities., June 18, 1968. lot 72, pp. 40-41.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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