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HOME : Islamic Art : Islamic Terracottas : Painted Terracotta Vessel
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Painted Terracotta Vessel - LO.640
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 800 BC to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 20.75" (52.7cm) high
Collection: Islamic art
Medium: Earthenware


Additional Information: A

Location: Great Britain
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Description
Double handled jar (neck-amphora) of red clay with large globular body and splayed neck. Body divided into three sections by two series of three parallel lines, each running around the circumference of the vessel, while a third marks the point of distinction between body and neck. Although the same decorative motif and in a variety of dimensions has been generously applied to both the body and the neck of this amphora, its lower part lacks any type of decoration. Both loop handles are decorated by zig-zag lines traced directly into the clay before the firing took place, with impressions of digits filing the in- between spaces. Two semilunar decorations (horns?) in relief are at the point the handle is attached to the neck. Directly under the rim, groups of three lines resembling waves. The tall neck is decorated by two medallions on either side, each enclosing the figure of a bird in profile to the right. Four small decorative medallions are framing each handle in pairs at the point of attachment to the neck, three very similar among them, divided into quarters, the fourth contains a shape similar to what is today known as David’s star, with all six points filled in color. On the shoulder, a row of uninterrupted medallions, each comprising two birds in profile to the right. These birds are of smaller dimensions to the ones depicted on the belly and the neck and seem of an entirely different species (quails?) Around the belly of the amphora a row of larger medallions, each containing a bird in profile to the right. The birds are slightly dissimilar in proportions nor are they represented in the same way, with an assorted variety of decorative details on their body, the tail feathers and the crests on their heads (peacocks?). All gaps between each medallion are filled by a scored pattern. It is very possible that the artist which decorated this amphora caught the birds while feeding, as they are all holding among their beaks elaborate semicircular elements, which look very much like parts of plants or it was just a simple way to fill in the gap and create a greater sense of balance in the composition. - (LO.640)

 

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