Slip-painted earthenware bowl

From Nishapur, eastern Iran
9th-10th century AD

Local competition to imported lustrewares from Iraq

Both the motifs and the combination of colours used to decorate this bowl recall the lustre-painted ceramics of Iraq, Egypt and Syria of the same period. The production of such slipware came about as local competition, as the potters of Nishapur did not know the closely-guarded secret of lustreware production.

The arrangement of the four leaves at the centre is repeated at the sides by teardrop shapes. These are set between horizontal leafy layers which seem to signify trees. A similar pattern occurs in examples of tenth-century Egyptian 'true' lustreware.

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More information


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


Diameter: 24.100 cm

Museum number

ME OA 1970.7-17.1



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