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: Plate


Artist: Shamsuddin al-Hasani Abu Zayd
Historical period(s)
Saljuq period, December 1210 (Jumadi II 607 A.H.)
Stone-paste painted over glaze with luster
Lustre ware
H x W x D: 3.7 x 35.2 x 35.2 cm (1 7/16 x 13 7/8 x 13 7/8 in)
Iran, Kashan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The composition on this plate, one of the most complex on any known Persian lusterware, has been read as a mystical allegory regarding the quest for the Divine. According to this interpretation, the sleeping youth represents the mystic who yearns to transcend the material world, symbolized by the horse. The youth's goal is to attain a vision of divine beauty (i.e., union with God), signifed here by the naked woman floating in the fishpond. It is the only known extant plate with such an unusual and spiritually inspired iconography. One of the inscriptions records that the plate was made by Shamsuddin al-Hasani Abu Zayd, an accomplished potter of the early thirteenth century.
Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel
Iran, Lustre ware, Saljuq period (1037 - 1300), WWII-era provenance
Collection(s) Area
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.