Spouted vessel in the form of a bull

Historical period(s)
Iron Age I - II, ca. 1400-800 BCE
H x W x D: 22.2 x 13.6 x 35 cm (8 3/4 x 5 3/8 x 13 3/4 in)
Northwest Iran
Credit Line
Gift of Joan and Frank Mount
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


bull, earthenware, Iran, Iron Age I (ca. 1450 - 1250 BCE), Iron Age II (ca. 1250 - 800 BCE), WWII-era provenance

To 1966
Galerie Israel, Tel Aviv, to 1966 [1]

From 1966 to 1995
Frank and Joan Mount, Alexandria, VA, purchased from Galerie Israel in 1966

From 1995
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Frank and Joan Mount in 1995


[1] According to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Frank and Joan Mount
Galerie Israel


One of the most characteristic ceramic forms of the early Iron Age period (ca. 1400–800 B.C.E.) in northern Iran is a hollow vessel fashioned in the shape of an animal.  This vessel in the form of a humped bull, or zebu, made of reddish brown clay, is equipped with crescent-shaped horns, ears, stubby legs, and a muzzle that projects as a beaklike spout.  Ceramic vessels and small bronze figurines in the form of a zebu have been recovered from rich Iron Age tombs in northern Iran, indicating this animal's importance to the region. 

Published References
  • Ezat O. Negahban. Marlik: The Complete Excavation Repord. 2 vols., Philadelphia. .
  • , Robert H Dyson, Jr., Charles K. Wilkinson, Prudence Oliver Harper. Highlights of Persian Art. Persian Art Series, no. 1 Boulder, Colorado. pp. 2-17.
  • Louise Allison Cort, Massumeh Farhad, Ann C. Gunter. Asian Traditions in Clay: The Hauge Gifts. Washington, 2000. p. 19, fig. 1.
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collection of Ancient Iranian Ceramics. vol. XLIII no. 3, 1997. p. 29, fig. 13.
  • E. Haerinck. Bronzeworking Centres of Western Asia, c. 1000-539 B.C. London. pp. 63-78.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 124, fig. 3.
  • Trudy S. Kawami. Ancient Iranian Ceramics from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. New York, 1992. pp. 134-36.
  • Oscar W. Muscarella. Fibulae and Chronology, Marlik and Assur. vol. 11, no. 4, Winter 1984. pp. 413-19.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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