Bowl, Stonepaste; luster-painted on opaque white glaze


late 11th–early 12th century
Made in Egypt or Syria
Stonepaste; luster-painted on opaque white glaze
H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm)
Diam. of rim: 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
Luster ceramics developed in the medieval period, as artists transformed plain ceramics with the application of metallic-colored paint that emulated precious metalwork. The technique was popular throughout the Islamic world, but it was developed with particular skill in centers in Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Syria. This example demonstrates the shimmering effect of the paint, here forming vinelike patterns around a central triangular design. The bold contrast between the brilliant copper red and the background, in addition to the vitality of the convoluted decoration, place this work among the best of its type.
[ Michel E. Abemayor, New York, before 1945–75; sold to MMA]
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Early Medieval Islamic Pottery: The Eleventh Century Reconsidered." Muqarnas vol. 9 (1992). p. 59, ill. fig. 12 (b/w).

Carboni, Stefano. "The Arts of the Fatimid Period at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Ismaili (2008). p. 8, ill. fig. 11, (color ill.; on cover as well).