Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ewer with molded inscriptions and figures on horseback

Object Name:
last quarter 11th–12th century
Made in Iran
Stonepaste; molded, monochrome glazed
H. 12 in. (30.5 cm) Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
In the last quarter of the 11th century Iranian potters started to work with stonepaste, a drastically new material in place of clay, made mainly of crushed pebbles with only small portions of clay and frit added to make it malleable during manufacturing and solid after firing. However, despite this, its stiffness required the use of molds for the shaping of the objects, as seen in this ewer.
Stonepaste would eventually become one of the most durable technical innovations in Iran, where it is used even today in local pottery productions of both vessels and tiles.
The mold employed for this ewer displays courtly scenes and an inscription with a sequence of eulogistic attributes.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic; naskhi script (partly effaced); on the body: "The highest, the wise, the powerful".

In naskhi script:
... الصاعد و السعادة ... و الاقبال ....
(A.Ghouchani )
[ Hassan Khan Monif, New York, until 1913; sold to MMA]
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 22.

Sarre, Friedrich Dr, and F. R. Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in München, 1910. Munich, 1910. ill. pls. 147, 149.

Riefstahl, Rudolf M. Parish-Watson Collection of Mohammadan Potteries. New York: E. Weyhe, 1922. p. LXI, ill. fig. 15.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 144, ill. fig. 78 (b/w).

Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. v. II, p. 1620, ill. v. V, pl. 771B.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 176, ill. fig. 110 (b/w).

Wilkinson, Charles K. "The Kilns of Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 17 (May 1959). p. 239, ill. p. 239 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 23, pp. 76-77, ill. p. 77 (b/w).

Alexander, David. Furusiyya: Catalogue. vol. 2. Riyadh,Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Public Library, 1996. no. 55, p. 61, ill. (color).

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