Turquoise Glazed Bowl with Inscriptions - AMD.02, Origin: Central Asia, Circa: 1100 AD to 1300 AD, Dimensions: 3.5" (8.9cm) high x 5.5" (14.0cm) wide, Collection:Islamic Art, Style: Islamic, Medium: Glazed Earthenware, The entire outside circumference of this molded monochrome glazed bowl is magnificently inscribed with regal benedictions and with crowned harpies (bird figures with human heads). 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 the "Buraq" a Harpy. Their features correspond to a physical type depicted in both Saljuq painting and sculpture. The striking resemblance of the crowned harpies, to the figures that appear on a number of “bird bowls” (Earnst J. Grube, Cobalt and Lustre, The Nasser D. Khallili Collection of Islamic Art, 1994. Cat.209), some of which have been interpreted as part of the iconography of the “Royal Wine Boat”, suggests that they had a specific meaning which is yet to be fully determined.
Ancient Near East