A very nice bowl, stone-paste ware, painted in black under turquoise, transparent glaze. Inside decoration with a row of swimming fish (or dolphins?) in between two bands of Kufic pseudo-script. The swimming fish motif is often found on underglaze-painted pieces of this period (ref V&A Museum London see Arthur Lane 1965, pl91 and Nasser Khalili Collection 'POT 194').
The fish-pond motif, often combined with Kufic or pseudo-Kufic writings, belongs to a repertoire specific to Islamic Art, albeit more often used on metal bowls and more rarely on ceramics: first because it was in relation to the very function of the object -containing water-, and secondly as an invocation of the source of life -thus translating wishes of eternal life to the owners-. An interpretation in perfect harmony with the message of the inscriptions delivered by the object!
Height 9,8cm diameter 21,6cm diameter of foot ring 8,3cm. Restored. Very nice iridescence.
Further reading: Baer E., Fish-Pond ornaments on Persian and Mamluk Metal Vessels in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol 30, 1968, p. 14-28.
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