- Provenance research underway.
Black stretched-out Kufic inscription on flat rim flange; white engobe ground. Said to have been found in Nishapur. Broken and repaired; small areas of rim restored.
(Atil,1973) This small plate, similar in shape to Numbers 7 and 8, has an Arabic inscription written in a dark-brown slip on its wide rim. The center is decorated with a floral motif composed of four dark-brown curving stems revolving around a disc. Each stem terminates in a trilobed palmette which curves in, counteracted by a split-leaf which is reversed. Four irregular lozenge-shaped red units fill in the area between the palmettes and the leaves. Double red dots adorn the outer volutes of the central composition.
The kufic inscription reads: [arbc] Excellence is a quality of the people of paradise.
This piece, said to have been found in Nishapur, is of the type commonly called Samarkand or Afrasiab ware.
The exact provenance of red and black slip-painted wares, decorated with Arabic inscriptions surrounding a revolving central motif, is far from solved. Both the Nishapur and Samarkand excavations have unearthed pieces which employ similar compositions. As also seen with the epigraphic wares, this style was produced throughout the urban centers of northeastern Iran, reflecting the tast of that society. The patrons were not only attracted to the aphorisms on the pieces but possibly also found symbolic or mystical meanings in the decorations.
Among the most distinct and impressive examples of Persian ceramics are a group produced during the reign of the Samanids (819-1005) in Khurasan in northeastern Iran, present-day Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. These vessels are embellished with inscriptions, usually in the form of a moralizing proverb. The inscription on this small plate reads, "Excellence if the quality of the people of paradise."
- Published References
- Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 85.
- Robert J. Charleston. Islamic Pottery. Masterpieces of Western and Near Eastern Ceramics, vol. 4 Tokyo and New York. pl. 18.
- Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 11, pp. 34-35.
- Jonathan M. Bloom, Sheila Blair. And Diverse are their Hues. p. 277, fig. 186.
- Collection Area(s)
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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