10th century AD
earthenware, decorated with purplish-black slip on a white ground, under a clear, transparent glaze with green and yellow staining (‘buff ware’)
9.5 x 22.1cm
This bowl is decorated in the style of folk art, a stratum poorly documented in many medieval Islamic cultures. A princely figure – with long tresses – is seated cross-legged, holding a leafy branch in one hand and a long-necked flask in the other. Around him, figures of long-horned ibexes alternate with plump birds on a ground sown with rosettes and groups of repeating Arabic letters.
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.57, pp.70–71. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.33, p.50.