© The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.

Name of Object:

Bowl with two facing peacocks


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Date of Object:

Hegira mid-4th century / AD second–third quarter of the 10th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Earthenware; lustre-painted on opaque white glaze

Period / Dynasty:



Probably Basra, Iraq


Birds were a popular subject in the Abbasid period, as artists working in many media transformed the creatures’ beaks and wings into increasingly abstracted designs. The symmetrical pattern of two peacocks facing each other finds iconographic precedents in examples dating from the late antique and Byzantine periods, where it often carried paradisiacal connotations. Monochrome lustre examples such as this were characteristic of the second phase of Abbasid lustreware, which developed in centres in Iraq in the tenth century. The word blessing appears in Arabic on the glazed underside of this bowl.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1964

Citation of this web page:

 "Bowl with two facing peacocks" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;us;Mus23;34;en

MWNF Working Number: US3 34


 Artistic Introduction

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries



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