Mounted Hunter with Cheetah

Object Name: Figural vessel

Date: 12th–early 13th century

Geography: Attributed to Jazira (or Iran?)

Medium: Stonepaste; molded in sections, glazed in transparent turquoise, underglaze- painted in black

Dimensions: H. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm)
W. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Wt. 24 oz. (680.5 g)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966

Accession Number: 66.23


Specialized cheetah-keepers tamed and trained cheetahs, caracals, and other wild felines for hunting expeditions, a traditional leisure pursuit of royalty and the wealthy elite. The trained felines rode with their masters on horses and hunted animals such as hares and gazelles. Despite this horseman’s weapons (a mace and a shield), his small cheetah suggests he is a hunter. The figurine was manufactured by altering a preexisting mold of a drinker: the applied arm holding the mace covers and conceals the mold’s original, bent arm holding a cup.