Of the later provincial pottery, Sari wares are
probably the best known for their highly
decorative quality and their likeable decoration.
The name comes from a town in Northern Iran,
at the southern tip of the Caspian Sea, to which
original finds were attributed. However those
finds were not properly documented and
therefore there is some contention around the
true provenance of the manufacture. It is
however quite widely agreed that this form of
pottery was made in the Mazandaran region of
Typically these smaller and deeper bowls are
made of red earthenware having straight steep
flaring sides. There are a number of variations on
The bird is the center of attention and is outlined
by a series of white marks. A sequence of multi-
sized circles make up the characteristic so-
called “lollipop” flowers. The bird and flowers
also characteristic of the classic Sari ware bowl
which is derived from earlier traditions and basic
techniques such as white dotting of elements in
the design. Animal decorations on Iranian
slipware are not as common as Basran or later
Fatimid lustrewares. When however they are
found they almost always have a strong
calligraphic style and abstract characteristics.
This dish for example shows a great degree of
abstraction and stylistic detail.
Comparable objects exist in The Al-Sabah
Collection at the Kuwait national Museum, The
Khalili Collection in London and The Tareq Rajab
Museum in Kuwait.