Pope, when discussing the group of bowls painted in mina'i with two large confronted figures called it the "royal style". It is easy to see why: the scale of the design and the opulence of the decoration show that these were produced as luxury wares (Pope, Arthur Upham: A Survey of Persian Art, Oxford, 1938, p.1599 sqq.). The design is worked in underglaze colours, overglaze enamels and in cold gilding. In addition to this, areas of the design are highlighted with raised piped scrolling designs. Other similar examples are illustrated by Pope (Arthur Upham: A Survey of Persian Art, Oxford, 1938, pls.651-655), while a few other examples are known including one in the Keir Collection (Grube, Ernst: Islamic Pottery of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century, London, 1976, no.144, pp.203-206), one in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (Wilkinson, Charles K.: Iranian Ceramics, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1963, no.61), two in the Freer Gallery (Atil, Esin: Ceramics from the World of Islam, Washington D.C., 1973, nos.41 and 41, pp.96-99) in the Gulbenkian Collection (Mota, Maria Manuela: Louças Seljúcidas, Lisbon, 1988, no.27, pp.84-5), a fragmentary example in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Lane, Arthur: Early Islamic Pottery, London, 1947, pl.68a) and one formerly in the Mortimer Schiff and Parish Watson Collections (Riefstahl, R. Meyer: The Parish-Watson Collection of Mohammadan Potteries, New York, 1922, fig.57).
Only about half of this small group of remarkable bowls have the underglaze piped decoration found on the present example. From an examination of sherds of related pieces is can be seen that these designs are applied above a layer of glaze and are then covered with another thin layer. Presumably it is thus the glaze which keeps the design in place and stops it chipping away from the body.
There has been considerable discussion about the subjects depicted on these bowls. Pope suggests tentatively that they might show Tughril Beg II in his youth and his consort. The couples are of indeterminate sexuality, and a number of them have one figure with a musical instrument, two of the points leading to suggestions that the subjects have a background that is basically mystical, even if a mysticism that could only be appreciated at the court.