10th century AD
earthenware, painted in coloured slips under a colourless glaze
11.5 x 26.5cm
The bowl is decorated in folk style with a human-headed quadruped, which evidently represents Buraq, the winged steed on which the Prophet Muhammad on his Night Journey ascended to the Seventh Heaven (mi‘raj). Above and below are figures of a bird and an animal, possibly a goat. Most of the pieces decorated in this style depict heroic or narrative themes from pre-Islamic Iran, but this example shows that religious themes were also illustrated.
E.J. Grube et al, Cobalt and Lustre. The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery, The Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume IX, London 1994, cat.37, pp.48–9.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.35, p.51.