Footed bowl with bulls

Near Eastern, Iranian
Chalcolithic Period
3600–3400 B.C.


Height: 33.5 cm (13 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pottery (painted buff ware)

On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)


Asia, The Ancient World



This buff ware vessel with purplish brown painted decoration is characteristic of the luxury ceramics found at Tepe Sialk in Iran. Its upper surface is painted with a frieze of highly stylized bulls. This motif, combined with the wavy vertical lines and swirling, wing-like columns, creates an illusion of rotary motion.


Probably north-central Iran (Tepe Sialk region). By 1961: William Kelly and Marilyn M. Simpson collection, New York (D. von Bothmer, Ancient Art from New York Private Collections [New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1961], p. 9, pl. 4); July 30, 1970: lent to the MFA by Mr. and Mrs. William Kelly Simpson; 1984: given to the MFA by William Kelly Simpson in memory of Marilyn M. Simpson. (Accession date: June 9, 1984)

Credit Line

Gift of William Kelly Simpson in memory of Marilyn M. Simpson