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Bowl with a seated figure, 10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

A larger image of this bowl with a seated figure, 10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Iran, Nishapur, 10th century
Earthenware, buff slip, underglaze slip-painted
3 1/4 x 9 in. (8.26 x 22.86 cm)
The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection, gift of Joan Palevsky (M.73.5.203)

Unlike the many early Islamic ceramics adorned with geometric and vegetal motifs, including several examples in this section, this tenth-century bowl from northeastern Iran features a boldly executed figural design. Displaying a flowering branch in one hand and a beaded drinking vessel in the other, the seated figure at the center of the design is flanked on either side by a bird, one of which is perched in the figure’s flowing tresses. Although the precise meaning of such imagery remains a mystery, it may be related to ancient Iranian feasts such as Nowruz (the New Year) or Mihragan (the Feast of the Harvest), which continued to be celebrated even after the advent of Islam.
Previous: Bowl with two embracing figures, 10th-11th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia. Louvre, Paris, MAO 859.
Next: Bowl with figure and birds, 10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia. ex-Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection.

Back to Bowls with figures from Nishapur, Kurasan, Iran, 9th-10th centuries, Saffarid-Samanid period
Other 10th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers