ABŪ ZAYD KĀŠĀNĪ, a potter who signed a ceramic bowl in the enameled (mīnāʾī) technique dated 4 Moḥarram 582/26 March 1186. Painted in blue, aubergine, and black on a turquoise ground, it depicts two personages seated on a throne with four attendants listening to a presentation by another seated figure. Another bowl in the same technique now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, painted in black, blue, green, and red on a white ground, and showing a figure seated on a donkey with a number of attendants, bears the incomplete signature “. . . made and decorated by . . . Kāšānī” and the date 1 Moḥarram (5)83/13 March (11)87; it may safely be assumed to be by the same potter. Both pieces are painted in a large scale version of the so-called “Ray” miniature style and belong to a group of pieces in a similar style in both luster and mīnāʾī techniques. Abū Zayd’s nesba and a number of stylistic considerations point to Kāšān as the place of manufacture, though these two bowls are reported to have been found in Sāva. It is not likely that this potter is identical with the luster potter Abū Zayd b. Moḥammad b. Abī Zayd Kāšānī.


The most detailed description is found in: Catalogue of Luristan Bronzes, Persian Bronze Age, Early and Later Islamic Pottery, The Property of Mr and Mrs Fred Olsen, Sotheby & Co., London, 8 June 1964, nos. 134-35.

For other pieces in the group, see Survey of Persian Art, pls. 687-88.

For attribution and stylistic discussion see O. Watson, “Persian Lustre Painted Pottery,” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 40, 1973-75, pp. 4, 10, pls. 13-15.

(O. Watson)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 400

Cite this entry:

O. Watson, “ABŪ ZAYD KĀŠĀNĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/4, p. 400; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-zayd-kasani (accessed on 31 January 2014).