Dish

Dish; large with low foot; rim chipped at places; six spur-marks inside foot-ring.
Clay: white, fairly soft.
Glaze: transparent.
Decoration: underglaze cobalt blue painting; dancing woman in landscape in center; incised decoration in cavetto; blue border on rim; sixteen panels outside with flower sprays alternating with stylized tassel-marks.

See additional Description, see Comment 2.

The central medallion of this blue-and-white plate represents a female figure placed in a landscape. She holds an empty wine bottle by the neck in one hand and with the other she beckons, tilting her head. Clusters of leaves and blossoms appear on either side of the figure while a plump bird perches on one of the branches on the right. Several floral elements hang overhead, suggesting that the figure is surrounded by foliage. The medallion is enclosed by a scalloped border.
The cavetto has an incised frieze consisting of a series of spade-shaped leaves filled with blossoms. A thin blue band accentuates the rim.
The exterior reveals eight lotus panels, decorated with floral sprays and seperated by vertical units containing so-called “tassel-marks.”
The exaggeration of the hand of the figure, particularly the extended index finger, is a feature seen in late Safavid paintings. The theme of a figure in a landscape is also found on contemporary blue-and-white Iranian wares. Stylized lotus panels alternating with “tassel-marks” are also among the common decorative elements of this group of wares but are often seen on the inner surfaces of the plates (Lane, Later Islamic Pottery, pls. 71A, 73A and 78B). This convention is based on late Ming examples and several comparable pieces can be found in the Ardabil collection (J.A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains, pls. 102-104).
The Freer plate with its motifs outlined in dark-blue and filled in with varying intensities of the same color belongs to a particular type attributed to Kirman or Meshhed. These wares are underglaze painted in blue and imitate the late Ming style. They are predominantly decorated with stylized landscape motifs executed in a sketchy manner and often include an incised and molded cavetto around the central medallion. The six spurmarks on the base of this plate suggest that it was fired on a support, a practice begun in the eighteenth century according to Arthur Lane (Later Islamic Pottery, p.97). With its white body, slightly opacified glaze and underglaze painting, this example is fairly successful in its attempt to imitate Far Eastern porcelains.

… Read More

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, late 17th century
Medium
Stone-paste painted under colorless glaze
Dimensions
H x Diam: 8.2 x 45.3 cm (3 1/4 x 17 13/16 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1970.23
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Dish

Keywords
Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), wine, woman
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Dish; large with low foot; rim chipped at places; six spur-marks inside foot-ring.
Clay: white, fairly soft.
Glaze: transparent.
Decoration: underglaze cobalt blue painting; dancing woman in landscape in center; incised decoration in cavetto; blue border on rim; sixteen panels outside with flower sprays alternating with stylized tassel-marks.

See additional Description, see Comment 2.

The central medallion of this blue-and-white plate represents a female figure placed in a landscape. She holds an empty wine bottle by the neck in one hand and with the other she beckons, tilting her head. Clusters of leaves and blossoms appear on either side of the figure while a plump bird perches on one of the branches on the right. Several floral elements hang overhead, suggesting that the figure is surrounded by foliage. The medallion is enclosed by a scalloped border.
The cavetto has an incised frieze consisting of a series of spade-shaped leaves filled with blossoms. A thin blue band accentuates the rim.
The exterior reveals eight lotus panels, decorated with floral sprays and seperated by vertical units containing so-called "tassel-marks."
The exaggeration of the hand of the figure, particularly the extended index finger, is a feature seen in late Safavid paintings. The theme of a figure in a landscape is also found on contemporary blue-and-white Iranian wares. Stylized lotus panels alternating with "tassel-marks" are also among the common decorative elements of this group of wares but are often seen on the inner surfaces of the plates (Lane, Later Islamic Pottery, pls. 71A, 73A and 78B). This convention is based on late Ming examples and several comparable pieces can be found in the Ardabil collection (J.A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains, pls. 102-104).
The Freer plate with its motifs outlined in dark-blue and filled in with varying intensities of the same color belongs to a particular type attributed to Kirman or Meshhed. These wares are underglaze painted in blue and imitate the late Ming style. They are predominantly decorated with stylized landscape motifs executed in a sketchy manner and often include an incised and molded cavetto around the central medallion. The six spurmarks on the base of this plate suggest that it was fired on a support, a practice begun in the eighteenth century according to Arthur Lane (Later Islamic Pottery, p.97). With its white body, slightly opacified glaze and underglaze painting, this example is fairly successful in its attempt to imitate Far Eastern porcelains.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 99.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 81.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Arts of Asia at the Time of American Independence: Bicentennial Exhibition, Freer Gallery of Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975-1976. p. 31.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 95, p. 121.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 93, pp. 200-201.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of Islamic Pottery at the Freer Gallery of Art. London, March 1974. p. 226, fig. 11.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.