Imported Luster Bowl, Earthenware; luster-painted on an opaque white glaze

Imported Luster Bowl

Object Name:
10th century
Made in Iraq. Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Earthenware; luster-painted on an opaque white glaze
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Diam. 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This luster ware bowl represents just one of the ceramic types from Iraq that was found in Nishapur. Its true metallic sheen—derived from a technique not known to Nishapuri potters—confirms that it was made in Iraq, and its single color dates it to the tenth century. Together with other examples, this bowl is evidence of the active trade between the two regions once Nishapur was incorporated into the Abbasid empire in the eighth century. It does not appear that Nishapur ceramics were very popular in the west, though; they only seem to have traveled in the immediate vicinity of Samarqand, Herat, and Merv, and perhaps to Kirman in southeastern Iran.
1939, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, 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. 34, ch. 6, pp. 189, 200, ill. p. 200 (b/w).