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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Whiteware Jug with Multi-banded Decoration
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Whiteware Jug with Multi-banded Decoration - LO.1384
Origin: Jericho
Circa: 800 AD to 1200 AD
Dimensions: 9.8" (24.9cm) high x 8.2" (20.8cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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“The water of Jericho is held to be the highest and best in all of Islam” Al Maqdisi, ACE 985 Whitish earthenware jug formed of two mould- made halves; integral foot; thrown neck of cylindrical form with twin collars and slightly inverted mouth; arched strap handle. Decoration consists of, from top-to- bottom: twin pearl bands, stars, pearl, roundels, stars, pseudo Kufic character, three bands (?) of pearl, roundels with ibex, interlacing four-point star and rope. This piece heralds from the banks of the Jordan River in Palestine. At the time this piece was in use, proffering a cool sip of water amid the desert heat and shady palms, the Abbasids (ACE 750-1258) were at the helm of an unwieldy empire that stretched from Spain to the borders of India, through Persia and the Middle East and along the coast of North Africa. Great power transfers define the political vista and the empire is divided between semi-autonomous states. Each operates within a changeable matrix of political affiliation, devotional expression and cultural identity and we see great diversity in the arts. Yet, resisting the tendency for continual change, this piece attests the continuity of a longstanding praxis in Palestine that endures and remains unchanged for millennia. Whitish, unglazed wares see little change in material, form and function over centuries. Simple technology for simple function. Most likely used to cool or even flavour water. We often find these vessels richly adorned in a myriad of motifs that reflect and reiterate both Islamic and pre-Islamic techniques. The pearl motif, roundels and ibex derive from Sassanian metalwork. Persian influence was transmitted to Islam following the fall of the Sassanian Empire and advent of Islam in ACE 651. The Islamic artisan mimicked rather than ignored the traditions of the peoples they encountered. The rosette, a motif that stems from the fourth millennium BCE and features heavily in Byzantine, Hellenistic and Persian art is likely to have been appropriated from Late Antique and Byzantine sources in the west. A testament to both tradition and change, this piece enunciates a widespread artistic vocabulary, as well as, greater changes taking place within the empire in terms of the distribution of power and movement in the arts. - (LO.1384)


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