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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

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Shallow bowl with schematized animal motif

Accession Number

Shallow bowl with schematized animal motif


Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
12th century - 13th century

Medium & Support
earthenware coated with white slip and painted designs in green and brown

3 3/8 in. x 14 1/2 in. x 14 1/2 in. ( 8.6 cm x 36.83 cm x 36.83 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
The bizarre bird design is the motif that strikes but it does not develop a complete form. The ornament put within its body and wings do not at all correspond to the naturalistic conceptions. The design at places run into the background lines, giving an all-over effect. The lines are fantastically fluxiating, there is a juxtaposition of the lineations of the main motif and the background that gives a strange continuity; a rhythm over the surface.

This bowl is an example of the distinctive Amol type of sgraffiato ware, its decoration being characteristically assymmetrical and rhythmic. The bird, possibly holding a dish in its mouth, is a frequent motif in this ceramic category and the use of an array of dots, scales and background squiggles is also quite typical.

Physical Description
This large Iranian plate sits on a small base. The decoration consists of a bird and crude space fillers. The units are outlined in green and incised, in addition to green glazed parts that are not incised. The design is cut through the slip and appears light brown while the exterior is left unglazed and plain red-brown.The plate is mended and appears to have commercial mosaic in parts. The colors are green, light green, yellow, and red-brown. Painted green and brown spots and stripes are combined with scribbled engraving to form often asymmetrical designs.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Iranian Islamic pottery styles after the Mongols
Islamic (culture or style)
Seljuk pottery styles
birds (motifs)
bowls (vessels)

3 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Visual Cultures of Islam - Ceramics
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )
Cabinet I: Shelf 1
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)

& Author Notes

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