Nishapur was founded as a Sasanian imperial city and ceramics produced here regularly incorporate elements from Sasanian metalware. The lively decoration on this bowl features four bearded figures surrounded by animals, birds, and angular script (possibly extending <em>baraka</em>, blessing). The central horse with a cheetah on his back suggests an imperial hunt, a common theme in Sasanian and Islamic art. The decorative motifs and figures employed on Nishapur polychrome ware reflect the rich cultural traditions in this part of northeastern Iran. Some vessels, like this one, depict the pastime of hunting, others reflect festivals celebrated by Muslims and Zoroastrians, and a few display Christian symbols.

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  • Title: Nishapur Figural Bowl
  • Date Created: 900s
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 8 x 35.6 cm (3 1/8 x 14 in.)
  • Provenance: (Heeramaneck Galleries, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1959.249
  • Medium: Earthenware with underglaze decoration
  • Department: Islamic Art
  • Culture: Iran, Nishapur, Samanid period (819–1005)
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Islamic Art
  • Accession Number: 1959.249

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