Stonepaste; painted in blue and incised under colorless glaze with copper fittings
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Diam. 7 in. (17.8 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1974
Not on view
The technique of frit-carving was popular in the 12th century and experienced a revival in the 17th century. This involved covering the entire vessel in a thick layer of frit (in this case, blue), carving through to the white composite body, and finally covering the ware in a transparent glaze. The blue frit on this water pipe base (qalian), is reminiscent of the color on a type made in the kilns of Iznik, Ottoman Turkey. The serrated saz-shaped leaf forms also bear reference to Ottoman forms, while the lotus-flower leaves are traditionally Chinese. The metal attachments to this kalian are later additions, added in order to protect the vulnerable projecting segments.
[ Mansour Gallery, London, until 1975; sold to MMA]
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Pottery: A Brief History." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, vol. 40, no. 4 (Spring 1983). no. 59, p. 50, ill. pl. 59 (color).