Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.47
Title
Bowl with Concentric Bands of Inscriptions, Palmettes, and Braided Strapwork
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
10th-11th century
Places
Creation Place: Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Samarkand
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165470
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Reddish earthenware covered in white slip and painted with red (iron), black (manganese and iron), and green (chromium) under clear lead glaze
Technique
Underglazed, painted
Dimensions
11.7 x 34.4 cm (4 5/8 x 13 9/16 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
2002.50.47
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
An accurate assessment of the state of this bowl, “damaged but all original,” appears in a note in Calderwood’s handwriting pasted inside the foot ring. On the exterior, the bowl has lost much of its glaze and slip-painted decoration. Most of the present interior decoration is overpainting, but the remaining original surfaces provide evidence that the restorer has reconstructed the design with reasonable accuracy. The outermost inscription, in red, could be read as al-yumn (felicity). At the center, a band of braided strapwork encircles an elaborate composite motif of a diamond-shaped flower with four coiling arms that terminate in red disks and black trefoils. The reddish ceramic fabric was originally covered in a whitish slip and decorated in red, purplish black, and olive green. Straight, flaring walls rise from a low foot ring, which is covered in slip but unglazed.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
133

Bowl with concentric bands of inscriptions, palmettes, and braided strapwork
Uzbekistan, Samarkand, 10th–11th century
Reddish earthenware covered in white slip and painted with red (iron), black (manganese and iron), and green (chromium) under clear lead glaze
11.7 × 34.4 cm (4 5/8 × 13 9/16 in.)
2002.50.47

An accurate assessment of the state of this bowl, “damaged but all original,” appears in a note in Calderwood’s handwriting pasted inside the foot ring. On the exterior, the bowl has lost much of its glaze and slip-painted decoration. Most of the present interior decoration is overpainting, but the remaining original surfaces provide evidence that the restorer has reconstructed the design with reasonable accuracy.1 The outermost inscription, in red, could be read as al-yumn (felicity). At the center, a band of braided strapwork encircles an elaborate composite motif of a diamond-shaped flower with four coiling arms that terminate in red disks and black trefoils. The reddish ceramic fabric was originally covered in a whitish slip and decorated in red, purplish black, and olive green. Straight, flaring walls rise from a low foot ring, which is covered in slip but unglazed.

Mary McWilliams

[1] Compare, for example, the bowl illustrated in “Polychrome on White Ware,” Group 4, nos. 19–22, in Wilkinson 1973, 151.

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 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