Name of Object:



Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums

 About Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums, Glasgow

Date of Object:

Hegira 7th century / AD 13th century

Museum Inventory Number:

BC 33.148

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Stone-paste (fritware) painted, black decoration under a transparent blue glaze.


15.8 cm, diameter (of base) 6.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Raqqa, Syria.


A stone-paste (fritware) bowl of flaring shape with straight sides, decorated with black painted stripes on the sides and a roundel of highly stylised calligraphy in the centre of the well, which may read: 'al-'izz … Muhammad' ('the glory... Muhammad'). The decoration is typical for this type of bowl where the body of the unglazed vessel is painted with black pigment, and a transparent glaze (in this case turquoise) is then subsequently applied overall. Raqqa was one of two major pottery-production centres in Ayyubid Syria, the other being Rusafah. There were a number of pottery workshops şn Raqqa that produced a range of ceramics including lustre-painted, relief-moulded, and underglaze-painted vessels. The pottery ceased production when the Mongols razed the city to the ground in AH 657 / AD 1259.

View Short Description

The centre decoration of this bowl has a calligraphic inscription which may read 'al-'izz … Muhammad' ('the glory... Muhammad'), painted in black pigment under a transparent blue glaze. The popular use of good wishes inscriptions and blessings on Middle Eastern ceramics goes back to the earliest part of the Islamic period.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis, together with analysis of the material composition of the vessel's body which is distinctively that of Raqqa. Furthermore, the nature and extent of the deterioration of the glaze is also typical of Raqqa ceramics.

How Object was obtained:

Part of the collection given to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944.

How provenance was established:

The vessel is typical of Raqqa ceramics in both its material composition and in the nature of the deterioration of the glaze.

Selected bibliography:

Fehervari, G., Ceramics of the Islamic World in the Tareq Rajab Museum, London, 2000.

Grube, E. J., Cobalt and Lustre: The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery, the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Vol. 9, London, 1994.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Bowl" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;uk;Mus04;9;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: UK4 15