Bowl, birds and foliage in underglaze blue and black.

Bowl with phoenix motifs, c. 1300

Unknown artist, expand_more

After the incursions of Mongol ruler Genghis Khan in 1220 halted production in many of Iran’s key ceramic centers, a revival began in the 1260’s, under the auspices of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1357), rulers of Mongolian origin who began to embrace many aspects of Persian culture. A new style emerged, known as Sultanabad wares, characterized by darker, denser combinations of colors and local foliage, along with motifs such as the phoenix, associated in China with longevity and renewal, and in Iran, with the legendary bird Simurgh, from the epic poem, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings). This fusion of imagery and cross-cultural exchange is one of the key aspects in the development of Islamic aesthetics.

Bowl with phoenix motifs
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

Bowl, birds and foliage in underglaze blue and black.