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Between and Mortarboard

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Shallow open box with three compartments, adorned with women's faces

Accession Number

Shallow open box with three compartments, adorned with women's faces


Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
19th century

Medium & Support
earthenware with blue and black underglaze painting

3 1/16 in. x 7 15/16 in. x 9 11/16 in. ( 7.7 cm x 20.1 cm x 24.6 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
The appearance of the faces of young women with carefully placed hair is typically attributed to the Qajar style of 19th century Iran. The canon of beauty represented here is also found in paintings by artists of the period such as Abu'l Qasim and was evidently the canon admired by the court. While the Qajar court favored European-inspired vessels, this dish technically follows in the native tradition of Kashan ceramics from the 12th and 13th centuries. 

Physical Description
This Qajar dish features three separate compartments and highly decorated exterior panels. Each side of the dish is decorated with a pair of young female faces that alternate with abstract deep blue designs. The interor panels lack decoration aside from the bases of each compartment which contain blue painted floral sprays. The craftmanship of the dish finds roots in the Kashan tradition of the 12th and 13th centuries, making it a testament to the continuation of traditional techniques in the region by the 19th century. 

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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Iranian Islamic painting styles after the Mongols
Iranian Islamic pottery styles after the Mongols
Iranian Islamic styles after the Mongols
White Slip (pottery style)
ceramic glaze
ceramic ware (visual works)
human figures (visual works)
nineteenth century (dates CE)

4 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Visual Cultures of Islam - Ceramics
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )
Cobalt & Blue
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

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