This bowl shows an aspect of ceramics produced in twelfth-century Syria and the Jazira that proved unappealing to early twentieth-century collectors. While the painted design is exquisite, the whitening of the alkaline glaze when it was buried rendered the imagery almost illegible. This ware represents a large proportion of the glazed ceramics of the period found in excavations, but restorers have not found a way to enhance the pieces successfully, and they are underrepresented in collections.
[ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, until 1920; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Transformed: Medieval Syrian and Iranian Art in the Early 20th cent.," February 10, 2016–July 17, 2016, no catalogue.
Pezard, Maurice. La Ceramique Archaique de l'Islam et ses Origines. Paris, 1920. ill. pl. CXLIX.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 193, ill. fig. 124 (b/w).
Lane, Arthur. "Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia." In Early Islamic Pottery. Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain. London: Faber and Faber, 1947. p. 45, ill. pl. 81B (b/w).