Name of Object:

Large dish with poly-lobed decoration


Rome, Italy

Holding Museum:

Museum of Civilisations | Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”

About Museum of Civilisations | Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”, Rome

Date of Object:

Hegira 873 / AD 1468–9

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Glazed ceramic.


Diameter 35.86cm

Period / Dynasty:





This dish is elegantly decorated with a large poly-lobed motif painted in black beneath a turquoise glaze.
The side of the dish does not have the usual inscription of good omens, but a verse from the Divan of the Persian poet Hafez, which tells of the lament of an unhappy lover: ‘I have washed [with tears] the courtyard of the home of my eyes, but why / since this house is not [even] worthy of imagining your form?’. The date is written at the end of the inscription: ‘finished in the year 873’ (AD 1468).

View Short Description

This dish belongs to a group of ceramics known as kubachi after the village in the Caucasus where they were found. They would have been hung on the walls of homes as decoration.

How date and origin were established:

Inscription with date.

How Object was obtained:

Is.IAO deposit.

How provenance was established:

This piece belongs to a specific group of ceramics known as kubachi from the name of the village in Daghestan in the Caucasus where they were found hung on walls for decoration. Ceramics of this type are of exceptional interest as they bear witness to the intense commercial exchanges between Persia and Kubachi, a place known for its production of steel weapons that were particularly sought after by the Iranian market and exchanged for a large quantity of Persian ceramics of unknown origin.

Selected bibliography:

Folsach, K. von, Islamic Art: The David Collection, Copenhagen, 1990.
Grube, E.J., “Notes on the Decorative Arts of the Timurid Period”, Gururajamanjarika, Studi in Onore di Giuseppe Tucci, Naples, 1974, pp.233–77.
Grube, E.J., Islamic Pottery from the Eight to the Fifteenth Century in the Keir Collection, London, 1976.
Lane, A., Later Islamic Pottery, London, 1957.
Torre, P., Le Mille e una Notte: Ceramiche Persiane, Turche e Ispano-Moresche, Faenza, 1990.

Citation of this web page:

Paola Torre "Large dish with poly-lobed decoration" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;it;Mus01;32;en

Prepared by: Paola TorrePaola Torre

Responsabile del Dipartimento di Archeologia e Arte Islamica e del Servizio Educativo presso il Museo Nazionale d'Arte Orientale “Giuseppe Tucci” di Roma.
Laureata in Arte islamica, ha svolto per anni attività di docenza presso l'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli ed è autrice di numerose pubblicazioni e studi scientifici riguardanti soprattutto la ceramica del mondo islamico, con particolare riferimento alla produzione dipinta a lustro metallico, dalla Mesopotamia alla Spagna.

Copyedited by: Pier Paolo RacioppiPier Paolo Racioppi

Laureato e specializzato in storia dell'arte presso l'Università di Roma “La Sapienza” sta conseguendo il dottorato di ricerca in Storia e conservazione dell'oggetto d'arte e d'architettura presso l'Università di Roma TRE. Ha svolto attività seminariali presso l'Istituto di Storia dell'Arte all'Università La Sapienza di Roma e attualmente è docente di storia dell'arte del Rinascimento presso la IES at Luiss (Roma).
Ha pubblicato diversi contributi sulla tutela artistica, il collezionismo e le accademie d'arte, ed ha collaborato al Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani dell'Enciclopedia Treccani.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: IT 43


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