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Bowl with birds
Place of Origin: Northeastern Iran, probably Nishapur
Date: approx. 900-1000
Historical Period: Samanid period (819-1005)
Materials: Earthenware with underglaze slip decoration
Dimensions: H. 4 1/2 in x Diam. 15 in, H. 11.4 cm x Diam. 38.1 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: West Asian Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B60P1859
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 7

Description

Label: This bowl, with its pleasing pattern of fat-tailed birds, is an example of what was originally an inexpensive local production imitating a technically more complex and decidedly more expensive imported ware. Like the previous ceramics in this section, this bowl has painted slip decoration. All of the bowls were made using the same technique, but this one has a clear yellow overglaze that makes it appear lustrous. The use of this glaze was an attempt by local artisans to imitate lusterware ceramics made in the west, in places such as Iraq and Egypt. Lusterware is produced when metallic oxides are applied to a glazed object which is then fired again in an oxygen-reduced kiln. The result is a highly desirable iridescent surface. The decorative motifs in this bowl recall Abbasid lusterware of Iraq of the ninth and tenth centuries, including the birds and their peacock-eye feathers, the stippled contour panels around the birds, and the beveled-style bands of scrolling leaves. Usually birds are seen alone or flanking a central figure; their combination into a band on this bowl is rare and interesting.
Label: This bowl, with its pleasing pattern of fat-tailed birds, is an example of what was originally an inexpensive local production imitating a technically more complex and decidedly more expensive imported ware. Like the previous ceramics in this section, this bowl has painted slip decoration. All of the bowls were made using the same technique, but this one has a clear yellow overglaze that makes it appear lustrous. The use of this glaze was an attempt by local artisans to imitate lusterware ceramics made in the west, in places such as Iraq and Egypt. Lusterware is produced when metallic oxides are applied to a glazed object which is then fired again in an oxygen-reduced kiln. The result is a highly desirable iridescent surface. The decorative motifs in this bowl recall Abbasid lusterware of Iraq of the ninth and tenth centuries, including the birds and their peacock-eye feathers, the stippled contour panels around the birds, and the beveled-style bands of scrolling leaves. Usually birds are seen alone or flanking a central figure; their combination into a band on this bowl is rare and interesting.