This exceptional bowl is made of earthenware
and features a red slip with black, “yellow-
staining black” and white slip painted foliage and
unusual stylized triangle scroll-work decoration
under a transparent glaze. The beautiful contrast
of the colors gives the effect of a bejeweled
masterpiece replete with gold gilding. The Khalili
collection has a large bowl which it attributes to
the production centers of Samarqand and
Transoxiana. The bowl has a similar geometric
shape at the heart of its central medallion.
(Earnst J. Grube, Cobalt and Lustre, Bowl 109.
Accession No. POT805).
Based on the distinctive vivid colors, style and
design of this outstanding bowl, we can attribute
it to originating from Nishapur, eastern Iran. (See
Charles K.Wilkinson, Nishapur: Pottery of the
Early Islamic Period, Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York,1973; ch.5 nos 19-23). The use of
the “yellow-staining black” pigment also allies it
to another Nishapuri ware (Section Gd). The
simple but effective repetitive design and the use
of dotted bands anticipate later regional Iranian
slipwares, particularly Sari ware.
For other comparable pieces see Oliver Watson,
Ceramics from Islamic Lands, cataloging the Al-
Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum,
2004. Cat. GB.14 Bowl.
Also, Geza Fehervari, Ceramics of the Islamic
World in the Treq Rajab Museum, No.60.