Six Vessels with Splashed and Incised Decoration (Sgraffito Ware)
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Earthenware; white slip, incised and splashed with polychrome glazes under a transparent glaze (sgraffito ware)
H. 1 9/16 in. (4 cm)
Diam. 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1936
Not on view
Two techniques of decoration were used on this bowl excavated from Nishapur in eastern Iran. In a technique known as sgraffito, a festoon and leaf-like motifs were etched into a white slip that had been applied to the earthenware body and allowed to dry. The etching reveals the body of the bowl, in this case an earthy red fabric, which then stands out in contrast to the white slip to showcase the motif. Next, blobs of green, brown and yellow glazes were applied to the surface with a thin coating of transparent glaze. When the bowl was fired, these colored glazes were allowed to run down the sides of the bowl in the kiln, producing dramatic streaks on the steep exterior sides of the bowl. The combination of the sgraffito and splashing techniques was very popular in the medieval Islamic lands and examples have been attributed to production centers in Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
1935, excavated at Sabz Pushan in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1936, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds
Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 53, pp. 66-67, 85, ill. fig. 53 (b/w).