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Large Aquamanile or Table Fountain in the Form of a Feline

POT 941 | Iran or Afghanistan

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Artwork Details

Title: Large Aquamanile or Table Fountain in the Form of a Feline

Location: Iran or Afghanistan

Materials: stonepaste, painted in black under a transparent turquoise glaze, and overglaze-painted in red enamel (mina’i ware)

Dimensions: 45 x 43 x 47.5cm

Accession Number: POT 941

Other Notes:

The aquamanile is in the form of a stocky feline with a flattened face. The vessel is hollow, but closed at the neck. It is filled by a vertical pipe with narrow opening and a cup-shaped mouth over the rump, and can only be emptied through a narrow tube concealed below the extended tongue. To either side of the neck are shallow circular dishes, perhaps for sweetmeats.

The black underglaze-painted decoration is outlined in red, and covers the entire vessel, with the exception of the belly. It consists of finely drawn palmettes on the face, neck and back; a tasselled chain on the forehead; stripes on the legs and the curled tail; a pseudo-inscription, or perhaps a simulation of fur, around a raised roundel with a moulded diaper design on the chest; petal motifs on the dishes; and palmette chains on the base of the pipe. Most of the decoration is now obscured by the heavy iridescence.

Bibliography:

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.127, pp.112–13.

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