BYZANTINE SGRAFFITO BOWL WITH A FALCON
Measurements: 24.8 cm - diameter, 8.4 cm - height
Description: A large Byzantine terracotta bowl with sgraffito decoration featuring a falcon. The outer surface of the bowl is showing traces of bright orange glaze with a white rim, while the inner surface is covered in white, with incised bird in sgraffito technique. In this technique, the vessel was covered with white slip and a colourless lead glaze. The design was incised into the white slip to reveal the dark clay beneath. Variants of this technique were used in the Byzantine Empire from late 11th century onwards. The technique was brought to the Byzantine Empire from the Islamic East. It was from the Near East, too, that the Byzantine nobility learned to hunt with specially trained falcons like the one depicted here. Such sports were reserved for the wealthy. Because of their association with the rich and powerful, hunting animals were believed to bring good fortune.
Reference: The Metropolitan Museum
Period: 12th – 13th cent. AD
Condition: Very fine, intact. Encrustations and crazing to the surfaces and minor chipping to the bottom.