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Bowl with Horsemen
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Bowl with Horsemen

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Mina’i is a modern collectors’ term for ceramics made in Iran during the late 12th to early 13th centuries. The term mina’i, translates as “enamelled” in Persian, designating the colored glass pigments used to paint detailed figural decoration on vessels or tiles, which were then fixed on the ceramic base by multiple firings. The use of a wide range of colors, including turquoise, red, green, purple, and black, also led these types of ceramics to be called by the Persian term “haft rang,” or “seven colors.” Mina’i ware scenes often depict courtly pursuits, such as feasting, fighting, or poetry and music performances. These colorful compositions created complex narrative scenes which paralleled manuscript painting. The combination of leisurely activities with more warrior-like occupations, such as hunting, was frequently used in the medieval Persian iconography of kingship. This is referred to as bazm wa razm, or feasting and fighting. The full range of these courtly occupations is seen here, as three horsemen, or hunters, are set against a scrolling network of branches with perched birds, possibly referencing a garden or a forest. On the bowl’s lower register, an enthroned figure is surrounded by two standing attendants, and six courtiers extending to the bowl’s upper register. The upper rim of the interior includes a pseudo-kufic inscription, whereas the Persian inscription on the outside is in naskhi.
Date Description Narrative
1/05/2012TreatmentCleaned; loss compensation
Provenance Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 12th-early 13th century (Seljuq (?))
fritware, white underglaze, black, blue, pink, red and white overglaze enamel, traces of gilding
Accession Number
H: 3 3/8 × Diam: 7 13/16 in. (8.5 × 19.9 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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