Unidentified private dealer, Paris, to 1903 
From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from an unidentified private dealer in Paris, through Dikran G. Kelekian (1868-1951), Paris, in 1903 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 Undated folder sheet note. See Voucher No. 1, November 1903, and Original Pottery List, L. 1231, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also, Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.
 See note 1.
 The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Dikran Garabed Kelekian (C.L. Freer source) 1868-1951
The heavily potted jar is a close imitation of Chinese celadon wares, both in shape and color of glaze. Its only decoration consists of widely spaced vertical grooving on the walls. A grayish-green glaze covers the exterior and the interior as well as the base of the jar.
Near Eastern imitations of celadons were made in Iran and Egypt as early as the fourteenth century, and a revival appeared in Iran during the Safavid period. This renewal of interest can be attributed to the collection of Chinese porcelains begun by Shah Abbas. A prototype for the Freer piece can be seen in a fourteenth-century celadon jar from the Ardabil Shrine (J.A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains, pl.130). The Iranian jar is identical to the Chinese example, using a kuan shape with fluted sides.
Clay: fairly hard, gray stoneware.
Glaze: grayish yellow-green; crackled.
The fluted shape and green glaze of this jar are based on Chinese lidded jars from Longquan. Although celadon-like vessels had been produced in Iran since the fourteenth century, a revival took place in the seventeenth century. These Persian green-glazed wares, avidly sought in Iran and exported to Turkey, probably served as less expensive alternatives to Chinese celadons. In 1611 the Persian ruler Shah Abbas (r. 1587-1629) donated his outstanding collection of Chinese porcelains as an endowment to his ancestral shrine in the northwestern city of Ardabil.
Dishes and bowls bearing the same designs as these pieces, made in Jingdezhen in the first decades of the fifteenth century, are included in the collection of the Topkapi palace in Istanbul, where they were used as tableware. Compared to fourteenth century porcelains, these pieces are thinner, and their cobalt decorations feature single large motifs painted with finer lines, which allow more of the white porcelain ground to show. Such decoration reflects the emergence of Chinese taste, as the result of the growing influence in Jingdezhen of patronage from the imperial court. Nonetheless, Jingdezhen porcelain continued to be in demand in West Asian markets.
- Published References
- Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 90, pp. 194-195.
- Collection Area(s)
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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