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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    13th century-14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware with underglaze painting

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 26, shelf 1

This bowl is an example of a type of ceramic that became very popular under the Ilkhanids. It is known as 'Sultanabad ware' after the place it was first found. However, these wares were probably made at Kashan - the main centre of pottery production in Iran before the Mongol invasions of the early 13th century, which continued to operate during the Ilkhanid period (1256-1353).

The Mongol invasions created a close link between the Middle East and China as both regions came to be ruled by the Mongol viceroys. In China this was known as the Yuan dynasty. These dynasties maintained close cultural links with each other through trade, by sea and land, along the silk route. This created a flow of many new artistic motifs from China into the Middle East such as the dragon, the phoenix and the lotus blossom.

Figural decoration appears less frequently on underglaze-painted pottery in the late 13th century. Geometric designs are used instead. One of the most popular was the
the so-called "panel-style", because of the division of the surface into separate panels, which is shown by the present bowl.

Physical description

Bowl of fritware, of decagonal shape, on high foot, painted in black and blue under a clear glaze. The interior with bands radiating from a central flower and forming compartments filled in alternately with trelliswork and with a foliated stem. The outside is divided into panels each containing a scroll on a ground of dots.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


13th century-14th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware with underglaze painting


Height: 8.9 cm, Diameter: 13.7 cm

Object history note

Found on the site of a ruined city near Soltan-abad, now Arak in Iran.

Descriptive line

Bowl of fritware, with underglaze painting in blue and black, Iran (probably Kashan, Sultanabad ware), 13th-14th century.

Labels and date

Found at Arak, near Sultanabad.
C.750-1909 [Old 133 G label]


Fritware; Glaze


Glazed; Painted

Subjects depicted

Foliated; Trellis; Scroll; Dots; Flower; Stem


Ceramics; Islam


Middle East Section

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