Name of Object:

Bowl with wing-shaped palmettes


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 second half of 3rd century / AD second half of 9th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Lustre-painted ceramic.


Height 6.8 cm, diameter 22.2 cm

Period / Dynasty:





The bowl, painted in brown and yellow-brown lustre, is decorated with two large wings filled with thin lines, which enclose an oval motif surrounded by vegetal elements. On the outside, there are four brown medallions with drop motifs. The decoration on the inside appears to be a variant on the tree of life consisting of wing-shaped palmettes, a Sassanid tradition.

View Short Description

The decoration on this bowl is particularly interesting, with a traditional palmette motif, in this case in the form of wings, on the inside. This motif can be interpreted as a variant on the tree of life, a Sassanid tradition.

How date and origin were established:

The determination of the date and provenance of the piece is based on the analysis of the decoration of the bowl, which is characteristic of this type of 3rd / 9th century Iraqi ceramic painted with two-tone metallic lustre.

How Object was obtained:


Selected bibliography:

Lane, A., Early Islamic Pottery, London, 1953.
Philon, H., Early Islamic Ceramics, London, 1980.
Scerrato, U., “Ceramica Irachena del IX–X Secolo”, Serie Schede Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale 2, Rome, 1968.

Citation of this web page:

Paola Torre "Bowl with wing-shaped palmettes" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;it;Mus01;18;en

Prepared by: Paola Torre
Copyedited by: Pier Paolo Racioppi
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: IT 18