12th-13th century CE
Materials and technique
Stonepaste body, painted in lustre on an opaque white glaze
Ø 17 cm
This lustreware dish depicts a princely enthronement scene familiar from manuscript frontispieces: a centrally placed ruler is flanked by officials. This venerable tradition traces its roots to enthronement scenes on Sasanian rock reliefs. In this luxury ceramic example, the central figure sits cross-legged, wearing a robe with uninscribed tiraz bands. The flanking attendants are noticeably smaller than the ruler. It is customary for all three figures to have aureoles behind their heads. In the classic tradition of the Kashan lustre style, the figures are large and fill the dish. They are painted in reserve and the space between them is taken up by busy patterns of scrolling motifs. The potter has made masterful use of the floral decorative motifs in the patterns of the robes to give volume to the body of each figure beneath them. Note especially the palmette-shaped flowers that accentuate the prince’s broad knees. The exterior of the dish contains a band of benedictory inscriptions.
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