Pyxis (Cylindrical Container)

Object Name: Pyxis

Date: late 11th–early 12th century

Geography: Attributed to Syria

Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on incised, opaque white glaze

Dimensions: Bowl: H. 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Lid: H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)
Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Wt. 8.5 oz. (241 g)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Harvey and Elizabeth Plotnick Gift, and Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.298a, b


This type of copper‑toned lusterware known as Tell Minis ware is named after a village in central Syria where such pieces were found. Syrian potters used minimal amounts of silver and greater amounts of copper in creating luster glazes, thus endowing the luster with a distinct dark coppery hue. A shortage of silver in the region at the time may have caused a change in the luster glaze recipe.