35 Items in this Learning Collection
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Deep bowl with vegetal and calligraphic designs

Accession Number

Deep bowl with vegetal and calligraphic designs


Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
10th century

Medium & Support
fritware with painted designs in red, yellow, and dark brown

3 in. x 8 1/2 in. x 8 1/2 in. ( 7.62 cm x 21.59 cm x 21.59 cm )

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

Subject matter
The colors of this bowl are typical of the basic Nishapur palette. Similar bowls are made with the same combination of brown, orange and yellow-green designs on an ivory background. The curtain-like motif with a string and ball attached provides the design for other similar bowls. It can therefore be assumed that this type of decoration was common for pottery produced in Nishapur. 

The inscription on this bowl is a small Kufic repetition of the words al-yumn which translates to good fortune. 

Physical Description
The vibrant coloring of this deep bowl consists dark brown, muddy brown, yellow-green and ivory. The design is organized around an inscription which appears above the base far down on the side. Above the inscription running horizontally is a separate enclosed design which looks like arcaded doorways with a string with a ball on it cutting each arcade in half for a total of seven. Opposite this is a series of four and one-half arcades in a vertical direction. Between these two areas there is a design repeated on opposite sides of the bowl with floral circular motifs on each side of a large, abstracted pear-shape form. The circles are brown and yellow-green and the pear form is orange and brown. Beneath each circle is a 'base' narrowing towards the center and directing the eye to the base. The base is covered with a shield-like design of orange and brown. The ivory background is not filled in but certain lines have been incised to add greater interest.  

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image 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)
Samanid pottery styles
bowls (vessels)
ceramics (object genre)

5 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Visual Cultures of Islam - Ceramics
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )
Cabinet J: Shelf 1
(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 1