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Slip-painted earthenware bowl


Diameter: 24.100 cm

ME OA 1970.7-17.1

Middle East

    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.

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