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Jug with molded decoration
Place of Origin: Iran, perhaps Rayy
Date: approx. 1100-1200
Historical Period: Saljuq period (1038-1194)
Materials: Glazed fritware
Dimensions: H. 11 in x Diam. 7 in, H. 27.9 cm x Diam. 17.8 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: West Asian Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B60P2006
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Sphinxes march across the widest band on this jug. Popular in the medieval Islamic world as a symbol of good luck, sphinxes decorate a range of artistic media. Below is a narrow band of crouching animals, familiar from metalwork and ceramic decoration across the Islamic world. Above is an inscription bestowing blessings upon the vessel's owner in the monumental thuluth style of Arabic script.

The clarity and crispness of the decorative details on the jug are achieved by the potter's use of a mold. This technique, which had been in use since the early Islamic period, was particularly successful with the new fritware body of the twelfth century. Made from fine clay and ground quartz, this artificial body could be pressed into the depths of a mold. Once glazed and fired, the finished product is a detailed decorative program that stands in relief against the vessel's thin, almost translucent walls.

This vessel once had a handle, which, like the upper end of the neck, was at some point broken and lost. Much later, handles in an unrelated style were added; these have been removed by the museum's conservators, in order to present the vessel in its authentic, original form.


More Information

Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)
Label:

Sphinxes march across the widest band on this jug. Popular in the medieval Islamic world as a symbol of good luck, sphinxes decorate a range of artistic media. Below is a narrow band of crouching animals, familiar from metalwork and ceramic decoration across the Islamic world. Above is an inscription bestowing blessings upon the vessel's owner in the monumental thuluth style of Arabic script.

The clarity and crispness of the decorative details on the jug are achieved by the potter's use of a mold. This technique, which had been in use since the early Islamic period, was particularly successful with the new fritware body of the twelfth century. Made from fine clay and ground quartz, this artificial body could be pressed into the depths of a mold. Once glazed and fired, the finished product is a detailed decorative program that stands in relief against the vessel's thin, almost translucent walls.

This vessel once had a handle, which, like the upper end of the neck, was at some point broken and lost. Much later, handles in an unrelated style were added; these have been removed by the museum's conservators, in order to present the vessel in its authentic, original form.


Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)