Bowl With Radial Design
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.114
Title
Bowl with Radial Design
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
late 12th-early 13th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Kashan
Period
Seljuk-Atabeg period
Culture
Persian
Location
Level 2, Room 2550, Art from Islamic Lands
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted with black (chromium), blue (cobalt), turquoise (copper), and brownish-red (iron) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin.
Technique
Mina’i
Dimensions
8.5 x 22.1 cm (3 3/8 x 8 11/16 in.)
Provenance
[Mansour Gallery, London, 1972], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (1972-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
2002.50.114
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Description
From the six-petaled ornament at the center of this bowl radiates an exquisite maze of arabesques and interlaced lines reminiscent of the plaited ascending letters in some Kufic inscriptions. Blue, black, light turquoise, and brownish red are painted over the opaque white glaze. The exterior bears a scrawled cursive pseudo-inscription. There are several cracks and repairs.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
28

Bowl with radial interlace design
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, late 12th–early 13th century[1]
Fritware painted with black (chromium), blue (cobalt), turquoise (copper), and brownish-red (iron) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
8.5 × 22.1 cm (3 3/8 × 8 11/16 in.)
2002.50.114

Published: McWilliams 2003, 243, 247, fig. 29.

From the six-petaled ornament at the center of this bowl radiates an exquisite maze of arabesques and interlaced lines reminiscent of the plaited ascending letters in some Kufic inscriptions. Blue, black, light turquoise, and brownish red are painted over the opaque white glaze. The exterior bears a scrawled cursive pseudo-inscription. There are several cracks and repairs. Although mīnāʾī bowls with abstract decoration are rarer than those with figural designs,[2[ similar examples can be found in the Khalili Collection, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[3]

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The bowl was last fired between 400 and 800 years ago, according to the results of thermoluminescence analysis carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2011.
[2] Grube 1994, 216.
[3] Ibid., 216, fig. 237; McWilliams 2003, 248, fig. 31.

Publication History

Jessica Chloros, "An Investigation of Cobalt Pigment on Islamic Ceramics at the Harvard Art Museums" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2008), Unpublished, pp. 1-41 passim

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 50-51, ill.; pp 53-54, ill.; p. 188, cat.28, ill.

Exhibition History

Overlapping Realms: Arts of the Islamic World and India, 900-1900, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 12/02/2006 - 03/23/2008

In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted