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Bowl with a mounted hunter, 9th-10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia
Christies Lot 234, 2000AD.

Lot description
Western Asia, Persia (Iran), Nishapur area, ca. 9th to late 9th-10th century CE. An incredible buffware bowl bearing a brilliantly painted horse and rider - probably engaged in the act of hunting - adorning its interior. Using green, black, yellow, and creamy white pigment, the artist who made and decorated this bowl depicts a stylishly clad fellow atop a well-fed and equally stylish black horse. The figure brandishes two weapons, one of which is a curved sword. Birds and a leopard are also included in the scene, with the latter being a common symbol of hunting in this region. The exterior of the bowl is painted with repeated leaf-shaped motifs in the same colors as the interior against a creamy white background. Size: 8.55" W x 3.2" H (21.7 cm x 8.1 cm)

A very similar bowl was excavated from Tepe Madraseh, the largest area of ancient Nishapur excavated between 1937-1940 (see publication info below). This bowl features a hunter painted in black, yellow, and green, on horseback, wielding multiple weapons and surrounded by possible prey animals.

C.f., Charles Kyrle Wilkinson, "Nishapur: Some Early Islamic Buildings and Their Decoration", Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1st Edition edition (May 1, 1987), figure 2.44 (pg. 212).

Provenance: private California, USA collection; purchased from Christies of London, April 11, 2000 lot 234

Repaired and restored from multiple pieces with very light overpaint along the repair lines. Old collection number written on underside. Light deposits on surface. Motifs are very well preserved.
Source: Artemis Gallery
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