9th or 10th century AD
buff-bodied earthenware, with monochrome lustre decoration over an opaque white glaze
8 x 26cm
Like the golden lustre, the decoration, with alternating panels of birds and palmettes, is a deliberate reminiscence of vessels made in precious metal for the Abbasid court under the influence of the revival there of Sasanian ceremonial and iconography. The birds with buds in their beaks and royal streamers are common motifs on silver, both Sasanian and post-Sasanian, while the dotted ground of the palmettes accurately renders the ringmatting of early Islamic silverware.
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.25, p.38. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.29, p.49.