Object Record

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Catalog number 57.70
Title Bowl with luster decoration
Object Name Bowl
Description The design on the inside of this bowl depicts horses and riders within arabesques under the inside rim; possibly a fifth figure was depicted in the worn bottom medallion. The horsemen have been identified as polo players. The game of polo dates back to the 6th century BC in Iran. It was played by aristocrats and kings, and this may explain why the horses represented on this bowl are arrayed in decorated fabrics. The figures and facial types of both people and horses are characteristic of Seljuq ceramics of the 12th to early 13th century, especially ceramics from Kashan workshops. The luster technique of decorating pottery was developed during the Abbasid period, in the 9th century. The metallic sheen enabled artist to imitate more expensive metal vessels, thus appealing to a broader market. Made of earthenware, the vessels were covered with an opaque white tin glaze and fired. Then the surface was painted with metallic pigments, and the piece fired again in a smoke-filled kiln (a process called reduction). The intricate designs and iridescent effect made this a popular technique in many Islamic lands.

Medium/Material Earthenware, overglaze-luster painted/Ceramic
Dimensions H-3 Dia-7.25 inches
Year Range from 1100.0
Year Range to 1250.0
Search Terms 12th century AD
13th century AD
Mongol rule
Seljuq sultanate
Exhibition and Publication History *"Queens College Art Collection," 1960, #213.
*"Ancient and Islamic Art," City Gallery, 1987-88, #76. M. Simon, Curator.
*"Director's Choice, Part I," G-TM, 4/17-6/1/02. A. Winter, Curator.
* "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," A. Winter, X. Lin, Curators, G-TM, 10/15-12/20/2003, #70, ill., p. 37.
*"The Grandeur of Islamic Art in Image and Object," GTM, February 13 - May 31, 2007. Lisa Brody, Co-Curator.
*"Interwoven Worlds: Exploring Domestic and Nomadic Life in Turkey," GTM at Flushing Town Hall, March 9-April 29, 2012. A. Winter, A. Bauer, Curators.
Culture Iranian/Seljuq period