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Jug with musicians and courtiers
Place of Origin: Iran, Kashan
Date: approx. 1200-1220
Materials: Glazed fritware with luster decoration
Style or Ware: Lusterware
Dimensions: H. 13 1/4 in x Diam. 8 in, H. 33.6 cm x Diam. 20.3 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: West Asian Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B65P58
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 7

Description

Label:

Musicians and courtiers converse against a ground of dense foliage on this Kashan lusterware jug. The potter strategically chose the widest part of the jug to highlight the eight figures' beautiful moon-shaped faces and elaborately detailed robes. The figures' round, wide faces with small, narrow features and long black tresses reflect the ideals of beauty of the period as seen in manuscript illustration and on other artistic media. The vessel's neck is also decorated with an abundance of details: cross-hatches, curls, and leaves are combined into a pattern of arabesques. The bottom section of the jug --- a low-visibility area --- is covered with quickly painted vegetal motifs.

This jug is a classic example of Kashan lusterware; its decorative program combines large figures in reserve with extraordinarily densely decorated patterns to create a new style of luxury ceramics that was produced during the first two decades of the thirteenth century, before the Mongol invasions, based on dated and signed examples.

The jug features Persian poetry inscribed in three bands around the neck, shoulder, and lower body.

A Persian couplet around the neck reads "O you at whose love I found myself helpless / And at your qualities (?) the New Moon smiled. / Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth and Happiness and Well-being and Generosity and Long Life to [its owner]." Another inscription around the shoulder reads "O I, who made promises a thousand times / That I would not have a lover in the two worlds, except you / Ashamed I should be that I did not [keep my promise], but / In the end it was me who was left helpless by abandoning you. / Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth [and] Happiness and Well-being." A Persian quatrain, around the body, reads "He saw ... a heart full of affection .... / As he looked he saw ... fear of a foe / you too, the full Moon, show ... the ardor of the path / Which would be and when ... he saw it as such." This inscription appears to be marked with a date equivalent to CE 1203-1204.


More Information

Inscriptions: Round the neck: A Persian couplet (a suggested reading and translation) and benedictory terms:

"O you at whose love I found myself helpless
And at your qualities (?), the New Moon smiled.

Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth and Happiness and Well-being and Generosity and Long-Life to [its owner]"

Round the shoulder:

"O I, who made promises a thousand time
That I would not have a lover in the two worlds, except you
Ashamed I should be that I did not [keep my promise], but
In the end it was me who was left helpless by abandoning you.

Glory [and] Prosperity and Wealth [and] Happiness and Well-being"

Round the body, a Persian quatrain. Much of the inscription is not visible as a result the meaning cannot be understoond. A suggested reading and translation:

"He saw .... a heart full of affection .....
As he looked he saw .... fear of a foe
.... you too, the full Moon, show .... the ardour of the path
Which would be and when ... he saw it as such.

Six hundred (?) / AD 1203-04 (?)

It is unusual to see a date without it being proceeded by 'the year'. Because the inscriptions are not clear, it is not possible to say with certainty that this is a date even though it would be the correct date for this ewer.

Inside the neck, in Kufic, repitition of possibly:

"Blessing"

(Trans. Manijeh Bayani Wolpert, Dec. 1, 2007)
Exhibition History: "Fakes, Copies, and Question Marks" 9/25/04--3/27/05, Asian Art Museum
Label:

Musicians and courtiers converse against a ground of dense foliage on this Kashan lusterware jug. The potter strategically chose the widest part of the jug to highlight the eight figures' beautiful moon-shaped faces and elaborately detailed robes. The figures' round, wide faces with small, narrow features and long black tresses reflect the ideals of beauty of the period as seen in manuscript illustration and on other artistic media. The vessel's neck is also decorated with an abundance of details: cross-hatches, curls, and leaves are combined into a pattern of arabesques. The bottom section of the jug --- a low-visibility area --- is covered with quickly painted vegetal motifs.

This jug is a classic example of Kashan lusterware; its decorative program combines large figures in reserve with extraordinarily densely decorated patterns to create a new style of luxury ceramics that was produced during the first two decades of the thirteenth century, before the Mongol invasions, based on dated and signed examples.

The jug features Persian poetry inscribed in three bands around the neck, shoulder, and lower body.

A Persian couplet around the neck reads "O you at whose love I found myself helpless / And at your qualities (?) the New Moon smiled. / Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth and Happiness and Well-being and Generosity and Long Life to [its owner]." Another inscription around the shoulder reads "O I, who made promises a thousand times / That I would not have a lover in the two worlds, except you / Ashamed I should be that I did not [keep my promise], but / In the end it was me who was left helpless by abandoning you. / Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth [and] Happiness and Well-being." A Persian quatrain, around the body, reads "He saw ... a heart full of affection .... / As he looked he saw ... fear of a foe / you too, the full Moon, show ... the ardor of the path / Which would be and when ... he saw it as such." This inscription appears to be marked with a date equivalent to CE 1203-1204.


Inscriptions: Round the neck: A Persian couplet (a suggested reading and translation) and benedictory terms:

"O you at whose love I found myself helpless
And at your qualities (?), the New Moon smiled.

Glory [and] Prosperity [and] Wealth and Happiness and Well-being and Generosity and Long-Life to [its owner]"

Round the shoulder:

"O I, who made promises a thousand time
That I would not have a lover in the two worlds, except you
Ashamed I should be that I did not [keep my promise], but
In the end it was me who was left helpless by abandoning you.

Glory [and] Prosperity and Wealth [and] Happiness and Well-being"

Round the body, a Persian quatrain. Much of the inscription is not visible as a result the meaning cannot be understoond. A suggested reading and translation:

"He saw .... a heart full of affection .....
As he looked he saw .... fear of a foe
.... you too, the full Moon, show .... the ardour of the path
Which would be and when ... he saw it as such.

Six hundred (?) / AD 1203-04 (?)

It is unusual to see a date without it being proceeded by 'the year'. Because the inscriptions are not clear, it is not possible to say with certainty that this is a date even though it would be the correct date for this ewer.

Inside the neck, in Kufic, repitition of possibly:

"Blessing"

(Trans. Manijeh Bayani Wolpert, Dec. 1, 2007)
Exhibition History: "Fakes, Copies, and Question Marks" 9/25/04--3/27/05, Asian Art Museum