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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Samanid Slip Painted Bowl
Samanid Slip Painted Bowl - LO.740
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 10 th Century AD to 11 th Century AD
Dimensions: 2.625" (6.7cm) high x 8" (20.3cm) depth
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Glazed Earthenware

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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The first indigenous Muslim dynasty to rule Iran following the Arab conquest, the Samanid Dynasty was founded in 819 A.D. by Saman- Khuda, a Persian vassal of the Abbasid Empire. However, not until the reign of Saman-Khuda’s great-grandson, Ismail I (892-907 A.D.), did Samanid power become extensive, eventually spreading outside of Iran and into Central Asia. The coins of the Samanids were used throughout North Asia, revealing their enormous influence on the region. Today, the Samanid Dynasty is renown as a time of cultural flourishing, especially in regards to the arts of poetry and pottery. The capital of Bukhara was also one of the cultural centers of the empire, along with the cities of Samarkand and Nishapur. Perhaps their most important influence on Islamic art was the Samanid innovation of slip painting that allowed for more refined, controlled glazed decorations on terracotta vessels and tiles. The Samanid Dynasty was a period of nationalism, where the Persian people regained power from the hands of foreign invaders. While Samanid power gradually waned throughout the 10th century in response to the rise of Turkic power in Central Asia and Afghanistan, during their rule the foundations of a native Iranian Islamic culture were firmly established.

Slip painted dish with red ground slip on which a pseudo-kufic circular inscription in yellow and dark brown has been applied along the rim. The Kufic characters are repeat letters of 'Alef' and 'Ra', or the second could be a 'nun'. Similar examples came to light at afrasiyab near Samarkand and also at Nishapur. Bowl, slip-painted “ buff” or polychrome ware. Coated with a red engobe on which the decoration was painted in white, black and olive-green. There is a round medallion at the base formed by a black band which has series of double white trefoils confronting each other; the cavetto carries an epigraphic band, repeating one word in olive- green, which may be read as da’im. Another band of double white trefoils run around the rim. Central Asia, probably Afrasiyab, 10th century. Prof. Geza Fehravari Prof. Geoffrey King - (LO.740)


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