Bowl Depicting King Zahhak with Snakes Protruding from His Shoulders
12th–13th century, with alterations first half 20th century; or 20th century
Attributed to Northwestern Iran, Garrus District
Earthenware; slipped and carved under a transparent colorless, brown, and green glaze
H. 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm); Diam. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)
Gift of Fahim Joseph Kouchakji, 1964
Not on view
The bowl shows probably a scene of the legendary King Zahhak with two snakes pertruding from his shoulders. This is a popular scene from the Iranian Epic the Shahnama. In a champleve technique the design is carved out of a white slip.
Fahim Joseph Kouchakji, New York (until 1964; gifted 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.
Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. p. 24, ill. fig. 29 (b/w).