Kashan Moulded Lustre Bowl - AMD.160, Origin: Central Asia, Circa: 1200 AD to 1300 AD, Dimensions: 3.8" (9.7cm) high x 5.7" (14.5cm) wide, Collection: Islamic Art, Style: Kashan, Medium: Fritware. The entire body of the bowl is lobed and moulded with human heads. Their features correspond to a physical type depicted in both Seljuk painting and sculpture. Namely, high cheek bones, a flat nose, small mouth and strong chin. The flaring foot on this bowl remains unglazed. There is a striking resemblance between the crowned heads and the faces that appear on a number of “bird bowls” (Grube. Cat.209), some of which have been interpreted as part of the iconography of the “Royal Wine Boat." This suggests that they had a specific meaning which is yet to be deciphered. A few examples suggest such figures were meant to represent Harpies, that is, human faced birds with wings at both sides and the ends fashioned in the form of tail feathers. The significance of the Harpy is well noted in Islamic legend in that the Prophet Muhammad's ascension to heaven was made with the aid of "Buraq"- a Harpy. Lobed cups with faces are also found decorating the tops of bottle forms of the same period, both moulded and painted.
Antique Porcelain & Pottery