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Bowl with radial design and inscribed rim

Accession Number

Bowl with radial design and inscribed rim


Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
early 13th century

Medium & Support
fritware with pale blue-green glaze and overglaze lustre painting

3 1/8 in. x 12 1/8 in. x 12 1/8 in. ( 8 cm x 30.8 cm x 30.8 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy
From Kashan.
Lustre glazed pottery was continuously produced in different parts of the Islamic world from the ninth to the eighteenth centuries. Some of the finest luster products, such as this bowl, are attributed to Kashan, a city in central Iran whose kilns excelled in this technique during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The rim of this piece is inscribed with an extremely cursive and interconnected type of naskh script, which thrice repeats the phrase “glory and progress”; otherwise the inscription is largely ornamental. Although the majority of Kashan luster vessels contain rich figural designs, this one is largely occupied by an eight-pointed geometric pattern that is probably inspired by metalwork. Although in very good condition, the center of the bowl shows signs of wear, suggesting that it may have been used for food.
Yasser Tabbaa, Guest Curator, ‘Art of the Written Word,” 1/15–6/5/2005

Subject matter
"The general appearance of this vessel, its nearly perfect state of preservation, the dark chocolate brown color of the lustre painting, and the manner in which the exterior piece has been decorated all suggest that it belongs with the group of ceramics excavated by villagers near the medieval city of Jurjan, in the coastal plain southeast of the Caspian Sea. Some of the pieces excavated at Jurjan may be of local manufacture, but the lustre-painted examples appear to have been produced in the central Iranian city of Kashan, a noted ceramic-producing center during the twelfth-fourteenth centuries. The heart-shaped leaves placed point-upward around the circumference of the museum's bowl are known on a number of Kashan lustre-painted vessels." 

Physical Description
"A Persian inscription is incised into the broad band of lustre decorating the vessel's rim. The main element in the decoration is a loosely drawn eight-pointed star from which a further series of eight- and sixteen-pointed stars are generated; beyond them are registers filled with medallions and cartouches. This structure, unusual in ceramic decor, is reminiscent of that found on metalwork vessels of this same period from Iran."

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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Islamic (culture or style)
Persian-Farsi (language)
Seljuk pottery styles
bowls (vessels)
ceramic ware (visual works)
stars (motifs)
thirteenth century (dates CE)

8 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 J: Shelf 2
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 205 (Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery) ➜ Cabinet J ➜ Shelf 2