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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.54
Title
Bowl with Bird and Flowers
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
10th-11th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Samanid period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165384
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Red earthenware covered in off-white slip and painted with black (manganese and iron), green (chromium), and red (iron) under clear lead glaze
Technique
Underglazed, painted
Dimensions
8.7 x 23.8 cm (3 7/16 x 9 3/8 in.)
Provenance
[Mansour Gallery, London, 1971], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (1971-2002), 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
2002.50.54
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The decoration on the interior of this vessel is characteristic of slip-painted wares now generally attributed to workshops in a region south of the Caspian Sea. Typically, as here, the design of these bowls is dominated by a single large, leftward-facing bird with distended belly, elaborately crested head, and two-colored, bifurcated tail. Birds and surrounding flowers are often outlined in a darker color that may be topped with tiny white dots; white dots also accent dark spots on the bird’s body. Off-white slip and green-tinged glaze completely coat the interior of this bowl. On the exterior, the slip only patchily covers the walls, and the glaze is restricted to the area around the rim. The concave base is uncoated. The bowl has been reassembled from about ten fragments, with plaster replacing losses in the lower left quadrant of the center, and it retains earlier and rather awkward overpainting of the bird’s lower belly and legs.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
20

Bowl with bird and flowers
Iran, 10th–11th century
Red earthenware covered in off-white slip and painted with black (manganese and iron), green (chromium), and red (iron) under clear lead glaze
8.7 × 23.8 cm (3 7/16 × 9 3/8 in.)
2002.50.54

Published: McWilliams 2003, 227, 229, fig. 4.

The decoration on the interior of this vessel is characteristic of slip-painted wares now generally attributed to workshops in a region south of the Caspian Sea.[1] Typically, as here, the design of these bowls is dominated by a single large, leftward-facing bird with distended belly, elaborately crested head, and two-colored, bifurcated tail. Birds and surrounding flowers are often outlined in a darker color that may be topped with tiny white dots; white dots also accent dark spots on the bird’s body.

Off-white slip and green-tinged glaze completely coat the interior of this bowl. On the exterior, the slip only patchily covers the walls, and the glaze is restricted to the area around the rim. The concave base is uncoated. The bowl has been reassembled from about ten fragments, with plaster replacing losses in the lower left quadrant of the center, and it retains earlier and rather awkward overpainting of the bird’s lower belly and legs.

Mary McWilliams

[1] Similar vessels have been known as Sari wares, after a town in northern Iran where they were said to have been produced. See Watson 2004, 243; Pancaroğlu 2007, 73; and Fehérvári 2000, 58–59.

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 183, cat. 20, 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

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