Beehive cover

Historical period(s)
Qajar period, late 19th-early 20th century
Stone-paste with turquoise (copper-tinted) glaze
H x W x D: 2.7 x 21.5 x 21.5 cm (1 1/16 x 8 7/16 x 8 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Tool and Equipment

Beehive cover

bee, Iran, mosque, Qajar period (1779 - 1925), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Mr. and Mrs. Osborne and Gratia Hauge (1914-2004) and (died 2000)


Among some of the more unusual ceramic objects from Islamic Iran are beehive covers, some of which date back to at least the seventeenth century. Beekeeping was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world and because bees are singled out in the Qur'an, Islam's holy text, they enjoy particular status among other animals and insects. The designs on the two covers on view are intended as protective and auspicious symbols and are characteristic of the more vernacular ceramic tradition that has existed in the Islamic Near East for centuries.

Published References
  • 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. pp. 134-137.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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