- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Zoomorphic Pitcher
- Work Type
- 13th century
- Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
- Seljuk-Atabeg period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Molded fritware covered with turquoise (copper) alkali glaze opacified with tin
- 18.4 x 10.2 cm (7 1/4 x 4 in.)
- [Mansour Gallery, London, 1978], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (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
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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- This pitcher is molded in the shape of an ox; the animal wears a harness defined in low relief. Despite the thinness of the potting, the vessel is intact. The glaze has deteriorated in some areas, but the overall surface is in very good condition.
Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, 13th century
Molded fritware covered with turquoise (copper) alkali glaze opacified with tin
18.4 × 10.2 cm (7 1/4 × 4 in.)
This pitcher is molded in the shape of an ox; the animal wears a harness defined in low relief. Despite the thinness of the potting, the vessel is intact. The glaze has deteriorated in some areas, but the overall surface is in very good condition.
Although its slender handle could have made it difficult to carry when full, this pitcher may nevertheless have been used to serve wine, since bull-shaped vessels are known to have been employed for this purpose in medieval Iran. Similar examples in different techniques can be found in public collections in North America and Europe; a near twin is in the Hetjens Museum in Düsseldorf.
 The results of thermoluminescence analysis of this pitcher carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2011 were inconclusive.
 Such vessels may have been made mostly for display purposes: see Watson 1985, 120.
 See, in this catalogue, Oya Pancaroğlu’s essay, “Feasts of Nishapur: Cultural Resonances of Tenth-Century Ceramic Production in Khurasan,” 25–35.
 Hetjens Museum 1973, 129.
- Publication History
Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 185, cat. 24, ill.
- Exhibition History
32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/19/2018 - 04/17/2019
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