Attributed to Iran, Kashan
Stonepaste; overglaze luster-painted on opaque white glaze
H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm), Diam. of rim 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Balamuth, 1968 (68.215.10)
Leo (al-asad, "the lion") is a symbol of power and strength. Its reigning planet is the Sun, which is shown here as a circular disk against which the whimsically spotted lion is set. The bowl was made in Kashan, in central Iran, where the technology for making luster-glazed ceramics was introduced in the early twelfth century, with the arrival of the potters from Egypt who carried the secret knowledge for creating this decorative effect.