Ewer with animal head, with band of decorative inscriptions at shoulder in thuluth script on an arabesque groundArtist(s)IranianArtist NationalityIranianObject Creation Date12th century - 13th centuryMedium & Supportearthenware with appliquéd barbotine decorationDimensions
8 in. x 5 in. x 5 in. ( 20.3 cm x 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm )Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
Although ceramic glazing techniques were perfected in Iran by the twelfth century, there was always a market for unglazed pottery, both for its lower price and its ability to cool water through evaporation. Inscriptions and decorative patterns were added to these vessels by the barbotine technique, which involves piping thin ropes of wet clay on to the surface to create a relief pattern.
The exquisite thuluth inscription that circles the neck of this ewer is written against a background of a floral scroll, a technique also found in monumental inscriptions of the period. The poetic inscription, also used in a second terracotta jug on display, recalls earlier inscriptions of poems and maxims painted on the white surfaces of eastern Iranian pottery from the kilns of Nishapur.
Yasser Tabbaa, Guest Curator, 'Art of the Written Word,' 1/15–6/5/2005Primary Object ClassificationCeramicCollection AreaWesternRights
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Islamic (culture or style)
ceramics (object genre)