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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.74
Title
High-Footed Dish with Two Horsemen
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/165494
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
Technique
Lusterware
Dimensions
6.4 x 21.2 cm (2 1/2 x 8 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
2002.50.74
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Two horsemen face each other from opposite sides of a central, checkered tree. The luster decoration on this bowl is so freely painted that the dotted pattern of the cavaliers’ garments merges with the foliate background. The figural scene is bordered above and below by scalloped segments filled with vertical stripes and, at the bottom, by a frieze of cursory pendants. An angular pseudo-inscription runs around the rim. The figural imagery of this bowl has close affinities with that of minai wares. Its sketchily applied decoration and somewhat confused background details put it into the category of luster ceramics exhibiting the so-called miniature style. The loosely painted scrolls on the outside of this bowl closely resemble the exterior ornamentation of several other luster vessels in the collection. Glaze only partially covers the high foot, one area of which exhibits some blue staining. The bowl has been reassembled from several pieces; its reddish luster has turned greenish in one section.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
30

High-footed
dish with two horsemen
Iran, Seljuk-Atabeg period, 12th–13th century[1]
Fritware painted with luster (copper and silver) over white lead alkali glaze opacified with tin
6.4 × 21.2 cm (2 1/2 × 8 3/8 in.)
2002.50.74

Two horsemen face each other from opposite sides of a central, checkered tree. The luster decoration on this bowl is so freely painted that the dotted pattern of the cavaliers’ garments merges with the foliate background. The figural scene is bordered above and below by scalloped segments filled with vertical stripes and, at the bottom, by a frieze of cursory pendants. An angular pseudo-inscription runs around the rim.

The figural imagery of this bowl has close affinities with that of mīnāʾ ī wares. Its sketchily applied decoration and somewhat confused background details put it into the category of luster ceramics exhibiting the so-called miniature style (as do cats. 31 and 32).[2]

The loosely painted scrolls on the outside of this bowl closely resemble the exterior ornamentation of several other luster vessels in the collection (cats. 29, 31, and 32).[3] Glaze only partially covers the high foot, one area of which exhibits some blue staining. The bowl has been reassembled from several pieces; its reddish luster has turned greenish in one section.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The bowl 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] See Watson 1985, 68–85, for the use of the term “miniature style” and other examples of Iranian luster ceramics in this category.
[3] A bowl of similar size and decoration (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1968-28) is illustrated in Watson 1985, 79, fig. 50.

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. 159, ill.; p. 189, cat. 30, 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