Bowl with Groom and Giraffe, Fatimid Egypt, c.11th Century.
Benaki Museum, Greece



Ceramic dish with lustre decoration; it portrays a giraffe accompanied by its groom. This particular animal appeared in Egyptian iconography at the time of the Pharaohs. In Islamic art it reflects the custom of rulers to breed giraffes in their gardens. Egypt, late 10th-11th c. AD. H. 0,078 m., Rim diam. 0,24 m. (ΓΕ 749)
Source: Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.



Referenced on pp. 147-148, Grube, Ernst J. A COLOURED DRAWING OF THE FATIMID PERIOD IN THE KEIR COLLECTION. Rivista Degli Studi Orientali, vol. 59, no. 1/4, 1985, pp. 147174.
the groom leading a giraffe in the celebrated lustre painted bowl in the Benaki Museum (fig. 7). The groom also wears similar short boots, although without the characteristic cut-outs at the sides.

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Fatimid Illustrations of Musicians, Dancers, Revellers & Labourers