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Bowl with horseman, 9th-10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia
Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

A larger image of this bowl with horseman, 9th-10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia. Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, 993.95.1.

Bowl with horse rider and birds
Geography: Nishapur, Iran
Period: Samanid Period
Date: 9th-10th century AD
Medium: Ceramic (earthenware, thrown), with overall slip, manganese-black slip-paint, copper-turquoise and antimony-yellow paint, and overall colourless lead glaze
Dimensions: 6.1 x 22.4 cm
Object number: 993.95.1

This object was made under the Samanid dynasty of Khurasan, now Northeast Iran, and Tronsoxiania. Many beautiful ceramic types were made in this period, but this type with its yellow field seems to be unique to Nishapur. These "yellow-field" wares have a host of very interesting motifs painted onto them with slips, a paint made of very fine clay. Many of them are very Central Asian in influence, with birds, animals, animal-headed people (possibly a shaman in a head-dress), and human figures closely related to earlier designs of the Scythians and other peoples.

One of these motifs is the horse and rider, such as on this bowl. This rider is clearly of its time, however, as the angle of the foot would indicate that the rider has the benefit of stirrups. Birds are also a common motif, typically depicted just as these are. In the case of this bowl the bird could be interpreted as a hawk being flown by the rider, but it is also possible that these common motifs of the bird and the rider simply share the same object independently.

Source: Royal Ontario Museum
Previous: Bowl with depiction of a cavalryman, birds and Kufic script, 9th-10th Century, Nishapur, Iran, Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin
Next: Bowl with a mounted soldier, 10th century, Nishapur, Eastern Persia. Barakat Gallery, ADC.92.

Back to Bowls with figures from Nishapur, Kurasan, Iran, 9th-10th centuries, Saffarid-Samanid period
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