© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.76
Title
Jug with Birds and Inscription Bands
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
late 12th-early 13th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Kashan
Period
Seljuk-Atabeg period
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165493
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
Technique
Lusterware
Dimensions
26.3 x 15.4 cm (10 3/8 x 6 1/16 in.)
Provenance
[Mansour Gallery, London, 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
2002.50.76
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The lower part of this jug is decorated with repeating arch-like forms enclosing long-necked birds facing left. An illegible inscription in Persian encircles the shoulder. Above this are foliate designs and roundels containing leftward-facing birds similar to the others. Used either as filler or as part of figural compositions, birds are a common motif in Iranian lusterware. The neck of the jug is decorated with two bands of illegible Kufic script separated by a band of swirling tendrils. White glaze covers the body of the vessel but ends in thick droplets short of the base. On one side of the jug the luster retains a dark red cast; elsewhere it is yellowish and, in the areas of the handle and mouth, shows considerable abrasion.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
33

Jug with birds and inscription bands
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, late 12th–early 13th century[1]
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
26.3 × 15.4 cm (10 3/8 × 6 1/16 in.)
2002.50.76

The lower part of this jug is decorated with repeating arch-like forms enclosing long-necked birds facing left. An illegible inscription in Persian encircles the shoulder. Above this are foliate designs and roundels containing leftward-facing birds similar to the others. Used either as filler or as part of figural compositions, birds are a common motif in Iranian lusterware. The neck of the jug is decorated with two bands of illegible Kufic script separated by a band of swirling tendrils. White glaze covers the body of the vessel but ends in thick droplets short of the base. On one side of the jug the luster retains a dark red cast; elsewhere it is yellowish and, in the areas of the handle and mouth, shows considerable abrasion.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The jug was last fired between 700 and 1200 years ago, according to the results of thermoluminescence analysis carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2011.

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. 191, cat. 33, 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

Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/26/2008 - 06/01/2013

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