This bowl has unusually well preserved three colours of lustre and glaze surface, giving a better idea than most that have survived of the immediate impact such pieces must have had when they were made. The design is however unusual for the polychrome lustre group, although all the individual elements are to be found in a number of examples, such as a bowl with segmented design in the Keir Collection (Ernst J. Grube, Islamic Pottery of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Century in the Keir Collection, London, 1976, no.16, p.51). As here, the decoration on the back is simple bold splashes. While the design is highly unusual in ninth century polychrome lustre, very similar compositions can however be found in pottery from Samarkand a century later (Grube, op. cit., no.51, p.95), and even two centuries later, in lustre from Kashan (Ernst J. Grube, Cobalt and Lustre, London, 1994, no.154, p.163).
A Thermoluminescence test, performed by Oxford Authentication on 5 August 2005, sample no.N105x40, is consistent with the suggested dating of this bowl.