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Abbasid Bowl with Man holding a Cup, 10th Century, Iraq
Metropolitan Museum of Art


Bowl depicting a Man holding a Cup and a Flowering Branch
Date: 10th century
Geography: Iraq
Culture: Islamic
Medium: Earthenware; luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Dimensions: H. 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm) Diam. 9 5/16 in. (23.7 cm)
Classification: Ceramics
Luster ceramics from Samarra often include stylized human figures. In this example, the lively caricatural quality of the seated man holding a cup and a flowering branch is enhanced by the two birds that hold fish in their beaks but look like they are kissing. The foot bears an Arabic inscription that reads baraka (blessing) in kufic script.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number: 1977.126



76. Bowl, Lustre Ware in Light Brownish Gold on White Ground
“Post Samarra Ware,” Iraq or Iran, probably 10th c. Height 2¼ in., diameter 9¼ in.
The figure of the man at the bottom of the bowl, surrounded by two birds with fish in their beaks, may seem “primitive” to some 20th-century eyes, but the quality of the lustre belies this.

For similar bowls see Survey [Arthur Upham Pope, ed. A Survey of Persian Art. 6 vols. Oxford, 1938.], pls. 576c, 577, and 579 A, B; Wilkinson [Charles K. Wilkinson. Iranian Ceramics (catalogue of an exhibition at Asia House). New York, 1963.], no. 27.
Source: Islamic Art From The Collection Of Edwin Binney 3rd, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1966



See also: ʿAbbāsid Bowl with Seated Arab Figure, 10th Century, Iraq? Keir Collection, 35.
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