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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.73
Title
Bowl with Seated Couple
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
12th-13th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Kashan
Period
Seljuk-Atabeg period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165185
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
Technique
Lusterware
Dimensions
9.5 x 21.1 cm (3 3/4 x 8 5/16 in.)
Provenance
[Hadji Baba Rabbi House of Antiquities, Teheran, 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
2002.50.73
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
On the interior of this bowl, a seated couple flanks a central, checkered tree, which— together with the fish swimming below and a busy network of thin, curving vines—conveys the idea of a garden setting. Along the walls of the bowl are six roundels decorated alternately with harpies and human figures. Like birds, harpies are commonly found in Persian Islamic ceramics and usually carry auspicious connotations. The area just below the rim is decorated with a pseudo-inscription with plaited verticals. The exterior features double vertical lines bracketing loosely painted scrolls. Recent museum conservation of the bowl has showed it to be made up of fifteen major fragments, but all join fairly smoothly, indicating that nothing has been lost from the original object. The luster is brilliant and reddish in tone.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
31

Bowl with seated couple
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, 12th–13th century[1]
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
9.5 × 21.1 cm (3 3/4 × 8 5/16 in.)
2002.50.73

On the interior of this bowl, a seated couple flanks a central, checkered tree, which— together with the fish swimming below and a busy network of thin, curving vines— conveys the idea of a garden setting. Along the walls of the bowl are six roundels decorated alternately with harpies and human figures. Like birds, harpies are commonly found in Persian Islamic ceramics and usually carry auspicious connotations. The area just below the rim is decorated with a pseudo-inscription with plaited verticals. The exterior features double vertical lines bracketing loosely painted scrolls. Recent museum conservation of the bowl has showed it to be made up of fifteen major fragments, but all join fairly smoothly, indicating that nothing has been lost from the original object. The luster is brilliant and reddish in tone.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] This bowl is of “ancient origin,” according to the results of thermoluminescence analysis carried out by the Research Laboratory of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1973.

Publication History

Holly Salmon, "A Comparative Analysis of Lusterware from the Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, June 2003), Unpublished, pp. 1-54 passim

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 190, cat. 31, ill.

Exhibition History

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

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu