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Serving Bowl with Miniature Figures, Arabic Blessings, and Persian Poetry

A work made of lusterware, fritware with luster-painted overglaze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of lusterware, fritware with luster-painted overglaze.


Seljuq dynasty (1037–1194), March 1191 (Safar, 587 AH)


Rayy or Kashan

About this artwork

This fragmented bowl combines two different luster styles in a single object. The vessel is primarily decorated in the miniature technique, so-called for its similarities to miniature or manuscript painting. The horizontal bands of the design, the checkerboard trees, and the white background are all hallmarks of this type of decoration. However, some of the figures are painted in reserve, with their forms in white and the surrounding pattern filled in around them—a feature more typical of the monumental style of luster painting.This luster bowl also contains two different bands of inscriptions. An inscription derived from knotted Kufic with dense arabesques surrounds the interior rim and repeats a single word, wealth. The other inscription lines the exterior rim of the bowl and contains the date of creation, an illegible signature, and lines from Persian poetry, which do not relate directly to the imagery of the bowl’s decoration. Some of the poetry is indecipherable, but two couplets have been identified as part of an ode written by the known Persian poet, Sana’i Ghaznavi.


On View, Gallery 143


Arts of Asia




Serving Bowl with Miniature Figures, Arabic Blessings, and Persian Poetry


Iran (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Lusterware, fritware with luster-painted overglaze


14.8 × 38.5 cm (5 3/4 × 15 1/16 in.); Diam.: 38.5 cm (15 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Logan-Patten-Ryerson collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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