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HOME : Islamic Art : AS UAE : Nishapur 'Buffware' Bowl
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Nishapur 'Buffware' Bowl - AMD.26
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 900 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 2.5" (6.4cm) high x 6.9" (17.5cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Style: Nishapur Ware
Medium: Buff Earthenware

Additional Information: AS

Location: UAE
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These early Islamic polychrome wares are among the most extraordinary of medieval ceramics, particularly for the verve and animation of the abstract designs they display and the vibrancy of their bold colors. From the lack of significant discoveries elsewhere it would appear that the so called Nishapur “Buff" or Polychrome Wares are specifically attributable to Nishapur. Very few such wares have been discovered elsewhere and the designs of those that have been found are very limited. The artistry reveals some influence of early monochrome luster painted pottery. This type is characterized by the yellow colored ground slip over which the dense decoration is painted in brown, red, green and other (polychrome) colors. The colors are vibrant and alive and the illustration while speedily executed is among the finest order of the genre, demonstrating the imagination and energy of the early potter.

Other examples that share stylistic qualities to the balanced combination of abstract geometric and scrolling patterns of this bowl and probably come from the same or related ateliers exist in some of the finest collections in the world such as the Al-Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum, the Khalili Collection, London and the David Collection, Copenhagen; this particular example is probably one of the more ornate and elaborate in terms of design.

Similar patterns can also be found on the fragments of wall-painting that were excavated in Nishapur, for example at the Kanat Tepe Hamam or bathhouse, as noted by Wilkinson in his book Nishapur, Some Early Islamic Buildings and their Decoration, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987. - (AMD.26)


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