Ovoid Jar With Short, Flaring Neck And Blue-Splashed Glaze
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2006.170.264
Title
Ovoid Jar with Short, Flaring Neck and Blue-Splashed Glaze
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
first half 8th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Tang dynasty, 618-907
Culture
Chinese
Location
Level 1, Room 1600, Early Chinese Art
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
'Sancai' ("three-color") ware: pinkish white earthenware with lead-fluxed, cobalt-splashed, clear glaze on the exterior, and with lead fluxed yellow glaze on the interior
Dimensions
H. 18.1 x Diam. 21 cm (7 1/8 x 8 1/4 in.)
Provenance
[Berwald Oriental Art, London, 1998] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (1998-2006), partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art
Accession Year
2006
Object Number
2006.170.264
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Commentary
Label text from exhibition “Re-View,” an overview of objects drawn from the collections of Harvard Art Museums, 26 April 2008 – 1 July 2013; label text written by Mary McWilliams, Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art:

Ovoid Jar with Blue-Splashed Glaze
China, Tang dynasty, first half 8th century
Earthenware with clear glaze splashed with cobalt
Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art, 2006.170.264

Label Text: Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, written 2008
Ceramics from the Early Islamic Era (8th–10th century)
Easy to break, but difficult to destroy, ceramics provide one of the most abundantly preserved indicators of changes of taste and influence. Ceramics from the early Islamic era demonstrate the results of an eastward shift in the center of power from the Umayyad dynasty (661–750), based in Syria, to the `Abbasid dynasty (750–1258), based in Iraq. The earliest identifiable luxury ceramics of the Umayyad era continue a type of ware widely produced in Roman territories, in which decoration is raised in relief and covered in a green-colored lead glaze.
Following the `Abbasid revolution, the capital of the caliphate transferred from the Mediterranean region to the Tigris Valley, where easy connections to the Persian Gulf stimulated contacts with cultures farther east. In the late eighth century, the arrival of whitewares from China revolutionized the Islamic ceramics industry. In Basra in southern Iraq, potters imitated prestigious Chinese white-bodied stoneware and porcelain by covering their own earthenware with a tin glaze that fired opaque white. `Abbasid potters transformed the new wares by painting or splashing colors onto the white ground. In the ninth and tenth centuries, `Abbasid ceramics were widely exported—and sometimes imitated—from the Atlantic Ocean to the South China Sea. Knowledge of the tin-glaze technique moved westward and flourished in Egypt and Islamic Spain. In regions to the east, potters devised different methods—for example, slip-painting—to create a white surface on which to design in color.
3
Ovoid Jar with
Blue-Splashed Glaze
China, Tang dynasty, first half 8th century
Earthenware with clear glaze splashed with cobalt
Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art, 2006.170.264

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

Exhibition History

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

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

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