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Bowl with Two Facing Peacocks

Object Name:
Bowl
Date:
second–third quarter 10th century
Geography:
Iraq, probably Basra
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Earthenware; luster-painted on opaque white glaze
Dimensions:
H. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm) Diam. 12 1/8 in. (30.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1964
Accession Number:
64.134
  • Description

    Birds were a particularly popular subject in the Abbasid period, as artists in many media transformed the creatures’ beaks and wings into increasingly abstracted designs. The symmetrical pattern of two peacocks facing each other finds iconographic precedents in examples dating from the late antique and Byzantine periods, where it often carried paradisiacal connotations. The exterior is painted with a simple pattern of circles and lines. The underside of the foot is glazed and bears an Arabic inscription. Monochrome luster examples such as this were characteristic of the "second phase" of Abbasid lusterware, which developed in centers in Iraq in the tenth century.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Arabic, on the underside: [Inscription unread]

    In Arabic and in Kufic script on the base:
    برکة
    Blessing

    A.Ghouchani

  • Provenance

    [ Khalil Rabenou, New York, until 1964; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451751

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