Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.79
Title
Bowl with Blue Inscription on Rim
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
19th-20th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Modern
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165186
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Fritware painted in blue (cobalt) under clear alkali glaze
Technique
Underglazed, painted
Dimensions
8.4 x 19.3 cm (3 5/16 x 7 5/8 in.)
Provenance
[Hadji Baba Rabbi House of Antiquities, Teheran, before 1974], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1974-2002), 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
2002.50.79
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This bowl and a nearly identical one in shape (2002.50.81) have on their rims the same repeated words in stylized Kufic script— perhaps interpretable as the Arabic al-dawla (wealth). Similarly shaped and decorated bowls are attributed to late twelfth-or thirteenth-century Iran; although both of these bowls are reassembled from many fragments and show degradation of the glaze, the results of thermoluminescence analysis on one of them (2002.50.81) suggest that they are both of relatively recent manufacture.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
140, 141

Two bowls with inscribed rims
Probably Iran, 19th or 20th century[1]
Fritware painted in blue (cobalt) under clear alkali glaze
8.4 × 19.3 cm (3 5/16 × 7 5/8 in.)
9.2 × 20.2 cm (3 5/8 × 7 15/16 in.)
2002.50.79; 2002.50.81

These two bowls are nearly identical in shape and have on their rims the same repeated words in stylized Kufic script—perhaps interpretable as the Arabic al-dawla (wealth). One bowl also has a small bird in the center. Similarly shaped and decorated bowls are attributed to late twelfth-or thirteenth-century Iran;[2] although both of these bowls are reassembled from many fragments and show degradation of the glaze, the results of thermoluminescence analysis on one of them suggest that they are both of relatively recent manufacture.

Ayşin Yoltar-Yıldırım

[1] The bowl tested, 2002.50.81, was last fired less than 200 years ago, according to the results of thermoluminescence analysis carried out by Oxford Authentication Ltd. in 2011.
[2] See, for instance, a bowl in the Khalili Collection, London, reproduced in Grube 1994, 200, cat. 216.

Publication History

Jessica Chloros, "An Investigation of Cobalt Pigment on Islamic Ceramics at the Harvard Art Museums" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2008), Unpublished, pp. 1-41 passim

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 268, cat. 140, ill.

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