Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dish with a Swimming Duck

Object Name:
16th century
Attributed to Iran
Stonepaste; painted in blue under transparent glaze (Kubachi ware)
H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm) Diam. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Wolfe, 1968
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
This dish belongs to a group of ceramics known as Kubachi ware. Named for a village in the Caucasus where this pottery was discovered in quantity, Kubachi wares are now thought to have actually been produced in Tabriz. One attribute of the Kubachi style is an uneven application of the glaze that has resulted in a surface-wide crackle. Dirt has seeped into the cracklure, discoloring the underlying body to a brownish tint.
Like so many ceramics produced in Iran during the Safavid period, the style and decoration of this dish demonstrates an attempt to emulate the highly-regarded Chinese porcelain. The wave pattern around the rim, the central imagery of a duck swimming, and the use of blue and white coloring, illustrate Chinese inspiration in this piece.
[probably Charles Dikran Kelekian, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. Lester Wolfe, New York (until 1968; gifted to MMA)
New York. Asia Society. "Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran," October 16, 2003–January 18, 2004, no. 10.4.

Thompson, Jon, and Sheila R. Canby, ed. "Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501–1576." In Hunt for Paradise. Milan; New York: Skira , 2003. no. 10.4, pp. 250-251, ill. fig. 10.4 (b/w).

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