Lustre-painted pottery jar

From Syria
Late 13th century AD

This bulbous jar was probably for storage, rather than decoration. The body is decorated with almond-shaped medallions, repeated like tiles. They are separated by single ribbons of dotted circles, a motif known as 'peacock's eye', popular in Islamic decorative arts.

Inside each medallion is a symmetrical palmette shape, resembling two plant-shoots pinned together at the top. Single palmettes also appear in the centre of Syrian lustre-painted bowls of the twelfth century AD, where they may be the distinctive emblem of a particular potter.

A band of scrolling vegetation fills the neck of the jar, and an identical band marks the border of the medallion-pattern at the base.

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More information


E. J. Grube and others, Cobalt and lustre: the first c (London, Nour Foundation, 1994)


Height: 49.000 cm

Museum number

ME OA G 1983.248


Godman Bequest


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