Fritware with underglaze-painted design, Sultanabad ware
Overall: 11.2 x 22 cm (4 7/16 x 8 11/16 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1915.589
This bowl was made after the Mongol conquest of Iran in the 13th century.
During the Ilkhanid period, decorative motifs from China were adopted into Persian art, including dragons, phoenixes, and lotus blossoms, which are seen on this bowl. Lotus blossoms were easily integrated into the existing tradition of floral and vegetal elements in Islamic art, while the phoenix was equated with the simurgh, a mythical bird known from the epic Persian poem the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings. The white slip designs on a gray background are typical of these wares, while the flat rim is influenced by Chinese vessels. This type of pottery was widely exported, and possibly imitated, as it has been found in excavations from Central Asia to Egypt.
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