Date: early 13th century

Geography: Iran, Kashan

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on opaque white glaze

Dimensions: H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
Diam. of rim: 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Wt. 14.9 oz. (422.5 g)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Balamuth, 1968

Accession Number: 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.