© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.60
Title
Albarello
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
c. 1200
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Seljuk-Atabeg period
Culture
Islamic
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165391
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over blue (cobalt) transparent alkali glaze
Dimensions
20.2 x 12.4 cm (7 15/16 x 4 7/8 in.)
Provenance
Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1973-2002), 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
2002.50.60
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This albarello, or medicine jar, is glazed in deep cobalt blue and decorated in yellow luster with little sheen. A band of vertical lines and stripes—perhaps meant to evoke the upright letters of Kufic inscriptions— encircles the upper half of the body, and floral tendrils occupy the lower half; in certain areas this luster decoration can no longer be seen. Repeating circular forms embellish the shoulder of the jar; the neck features vertical stripes. The blue glaze ends thickly above the foot.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
36

Albarello
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, c. 1200 [1]
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over blue (cobalt) transparent alkali glaze
20.2 × 12.4 cm (7 15/16 × 4 7/8 in.)
2002.50.60

This albarello, or medicine jar, is glazed n deep cobalt blue and decorated in yellow luster with little sheen. A band of vertical lines and stripes—perhaps meant to evoke the upright letters of Kufic inscriptions—encircles the upper half of the body, and floral tendrils occupy the lower half; in certain areas this luster decoration can no longer be seen. Repeating circular forms embellish the shoulder of the jar; the neck features vertical stripes. The blue glaze ends thickly above the foot. Other Iranian luster albarellos of similar size and form are known.[2]

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The jar was last fired between 500 and 900 years ago, according to the results of thermoluminescence analysis carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2003.
[2] Watson 1985, fig. A; Watson 2004, 361.

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

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. 193, cat. 36, 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

Tangible Things, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Cambridge, 01/24/2011 - 05/29/2011

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