Cup With Lobed Rim And Human Faces
side
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.95
People
Unknown Artist
Title
Cup with Lobed Rim and Human Faces
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
12th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Seljuk-Atabeg period
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware with molded relief decoration under blue (cobalt) transparent alkali glaze
Technique
Mold-made
Dimensions
10.8 x 14.2 cm (4 1/4 x 5 9/16 in.)
Provenance
[Mansour Gallery, London, before 1978], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1978-2002), 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
2002.50.95
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Description
This cup is decorated with repeated human heads molded in relief. The lobed rim follows the contours of the projecting heads, which feature large, almond-eyed faces.The deep blue glaze covers the interior and exterior body of the cup and has flowed onto the base. On one side, it has deteriorated, becoming iridescent.





Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
21

Cup with lobed rim and human faces
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, 12th century[1]
Fritware with molded relief decoration under blue (cobalt) transparent alkali glaze
10.8 × 14.2 cm (4 1/4 × 5 9/16 in.)
2002.50.95

Published: McWilliams 2004, 5, fig. 6.

The development of fritware in the twelfth century opened new paths in ceramics production. By adding large quantities of quartz to the clay, potters could make white-bodied vessels with thinner walls, more delicate shapes, and greater durability. Some of these fine objects were coated with blue, turquoise, purple, or colorless glazes.

This cup is decorated with repeated human heads molded in relief.[2] The lobed rim follows the contours of the projecting heads, which feature large, almond-eyed faces. The deep blue glaze covers the interior and exterior body of the cup and has flowed onto the base. On one side, it has deteriorated, becoming iridescent.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The results of thermoluminescence analysis of this cup carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2011 were inconclusive.
[2] For lobed bowls with similar molded decoration, see Fehérvári 2000, 101 (Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait, CER 1750TSR) and Grube 1994, 176–77, cat. 173 (Khalili Collection, London, POT885).

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004)

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), p. 184, cat. 21, ill.

Exhibition History

Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/07/2004 - 01/02/2005

Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/26/2008 - 06/01/2013

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

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

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