• Persia, Kashan (?), Late 12th or early 13th century
  • Fritware, painted over and underglaze
  • Inv. 935
  • Eastern Islamic Art


Persia, Kashan (?), Late 12th or early 13th century

Footed bowl with foliate rim, inside a court scene is depicted referring to falcon hunting and the game of polo. In the centre a young prince is seated on a high-backed throne surrounded by four knights alternating with pairs of facing falcons. The knights are carrying polo sticks, for this was one of the favourite pastimes of the Iranian court. The rich polychrome minai decoration of the interior, contrasts with the sobriety of the exterior decoration which is solely calligraphy and expresses good wishes for a long life and power for the owner of the bowl.

This piece has Far Eastern influences as can be seen by its form and the whitish tone of the glaze. The decorative theme representing a court scene is in the Middle Eastern tradition.

Persian potters developed a technique called minai that enabled them to use a range of varied colours, a technique used in this piece that is decorated in blue, red, green, violet, black and gold.


Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from Kevorkian, on August 19th, 1912.

H. 8 cm; Diam. 18 cm
Lisbon 1963

Arte do Oriente Islâmico – Colecção da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, exhibition catalogue, Lisbon Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1963, no. 11

Mota 1988

Maria Manuela Mota – Louças Seljúcidas, Lisbon, 1988, p. 86-87, no. 23, colourpl. (with French text)

Goffen 1995

Rona Goffen (ed.) – Museums discovered: The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1995, p. 162-163, colourpl.

New York 1999

“Only the Best”. Masterpieces of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, exhibition catalogue, Katharine Baetjer e James David Draper (eds.) – New York (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), 1999, p. 52-53, no. 21, colourpl.

Madrid 2001

Un jardín encantado. Arte islámico en la Colección Calouste Gulbenkian, exhibition catalogue, Madrid (Fundación Santander Central Hispano), 2001, p. 30-31, no. 1, colourpl.