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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.71
Title
Small Bowl with Quadruped and Inscription
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
10th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iraq, Basra
Period
Abbasid period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165490
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Buff-colored earthenware painted with luster (silver and copper) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
Technique
Lusterware
Dimensions
5.6 x 16.2 cm (2 3/16 x 6 3/8 in.)
Provenance
[Hadji Baba Rabbi House of Antiquties, Teheran, before 1973], sold; to 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
2002.50.71
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The Arabic word for “blessing” (baraka) is written twice below the curious four-legged beast that fills this small bowl. The slender legs of the animal and its hooves with dewclaws probably indicate that it was intended to be a deer, a creature admired for its beauty and prized by hunters as game. Its neck, head, and upper back are an early restoration, poorly painted on plaster fill.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
7

Small bowl with quadruped and inscription
Iraq, Basra, Abbasid period, 10th century[1]
Buff-colored earthenware painted with luster (silver and copper) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
5.6 × 16.2 cm (2 3/16 × 6 3/8 in.)
2002.50.71

Published: McWilliams 2003, 235, 237, fig. 11; McWilliams 2007, 14, fig. 1.

The Arabic word for “blessing” (baraka) is written twice below the curious four-legged beast that fills this small bowl. The slender legs of the animal and its hooves with dewclaws probably indicate that it was intended to be a deer, a creature admired for its beauty and prized by hunters as game. Its neck, head, and upper back are an early restoration, poorly painted on plaster fill.[2]

Mary McWilliams

[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.
[2] The original head probably resembled that of a beast on a monochrome luster fragment (Benaki Museum, Athens, 231) illustrated in Philon 1980, 151, fig. 335. Philon identifies that animal as a hare.

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, Baraka: Blessings in Clay, The Studio Potter, Mary Barringer (Shelburne Falls, MA, 2007), Vol. 35, No. 2, p 14-19, p. 14, fig. 1

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 174, cat. 7, ill.

Exhibition History

Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/07/2004 - 01/02/2005

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