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17th century

Safavid period

Stone-paste painted under glaze
H: 10.8 W: 11.6 cm

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1903.4

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The idealized subjects of single-page compositions are frequently portrayed with certain accessories, such as books, flowers, fruit, or drinking and eating vessels. Among the most popular props are wine bottles and cups made of precious metals or red earthenware. The elegant blue and white glazed bottles on view are characteristic of Safavid ceramic production and represent object the types of vessels found in contemporaneous painting.

Apart from locally produced wares, representations of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain frequently appear in Persian paintings. Since the fourteenth century, Chinese ware was imported to the Islamic world and avidly collected throughout the region. The growing demand for these luxury vessels encouraged Chinese potters to create blue-and-white porcelain inspired by Near Eastern shapes and designs. The Fifteenth-century tankard was produced by the Jingdezhen kilns in China, famous for their fine blue-and-white and celadon production. The form of the vessel emulates identically shaped bronze and jade models from Iran, while some of the design motifs also suggest a Persian prototype.

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