Historical period(s)
Samanid period, 10th century
Earthenware painted under glaze
H x W: 6.6 x 21.8 cm (2 5/8 x 8 9/16 in)
Iran or Uzbekistan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


bird, earthenware, Iran, Samanid period (819 - 1005), Uzbekistan, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Heeramaneck Galleries


The facing birds on this bowl--one of the most popular motifs on Persian ceramics of the ninth and tenth centuries--conceal the Arabic word "blessing" on their undersides. They can be regarded as the first zoomorphic inscriptions and indicate the secular use of these ceramic wares.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 9, p. 30-31.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 64.
  • Gian Guido Belloni Liliana Fedi Dall'Asen. Iranian Art. New York. pl. 85.
  • Robert J. Charleston. Islamic Pottery. Masterpieces of Western and Near Eastern Ceramics, vol. 4 Tokyo and New York. .
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. cat. 78, p. 363.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Medieval Near Eastern Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Baltimore. p. 12.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 265.
  • Gustave E. Von Grunebaum. Unity and Variety in Muslim Civilization. Comparative Studies of Cultures and Civilizations, no. 7 Chicago. p. 123, pl. 10a.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum