Ewer with Molded Inscriptions, Animals, and Dancers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

The choral dance displayed on this ewer is not uncommon on Seljuq stonepaste molded wares. Choral dances performed at the time included the mystic dances of the Sufi practice of sama’ and those related to Zoroastrian worship rituals. This depiction, however, more probably evokes courtly scenes, where dances were performed as a mundane entertainment for prince and nobility.
The inscription mentions the name of the potter, Abu Ahmad Qassa’i, which is an unusual occurrence on early monochrome stonepaste, and points to the fact that this was a specialized and highly regarded form of production.

Ewer with Molded Inscriptions, Animals, and Dancers, Stonepaste; molded, monochrome glazed

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