Coarse stonepaste with white ground slip beneath
blue glaze, opaque yellow-white slip to interior with
lustre decoration beneath clear, crackled glaze;
rounded sides rise up from short, vertical footring to
carinated keel just above midpoint before
terminating in everted rim; decoration consists of
lobed cartouche at centre with seated figure and six
radiate, seated figures to cavetto against floral and
eyes; blue glaze to exterior walls. Repaired from
A “golden age” for pottery.
Figures in monumental style are again found in
cartouches. The radiate figures bear a striking
resemblance to a bowl assigned with a provenance
of Iran currently on display at Kuwait National
The blue-glaze reverse is a feature commonly found
in monumental style lustres, but rarely in other
Informal naturalism, executed in free hand.
Design is well laid out and executed with reserve
despite the informal nature
Figurative depictions are not uncommon and
generally are bound up with the “pleasures of court”
Only a few Fatimid lustre pieces are known painted
with human figures in this very naturalistic manner,
a tradition that can be traced back to pre-Islamic
Of particular interest here is we have a monochrome
blue slip beneath the lustre, suggesting this bowl
started life as a monochrome glazed ware and the
lustre was applied at a later, though still close, date.
While repaired, it is most unusual to find a complete
piece and most Fatimid lustre ware survives to us in
Throne scene, central figure has halo.
For similar figures cf. Watson, P.348 Cat.O.2