Saturday, October 17, 2009

Iran, Kashan, Stonepaste Bottle

12. Iran, Kashan, Stonepaste bottle, painted in lustre with seated figures and prowling animals Dated Muharram 575 AH, (CE 1179) Height: 14.3 cm.
The earliest known piece of Kashan lustreware. This bottle is the earliest known dated Iranian example of the lustreware technique. Its neck is missing, and the body is in a fragmentary state, but much of the decoration is clearly visible. The main band shows a seated group of people, against a background of leafy ornament which suggests a garden setting. Below the garden-party is an inscription of a poem. Below the inscription is a succession of hounds chasing hares, against a simple pattern of curling vegetation. This is a popular subject on luxury objects, referring to the favourite noble pastime of hunting. A similar band is on the top of the bottle. The lowest band is decorated with a trellis of stylized curling plant stems.Translation of poem on bottle:'Oh Heavenly sphere, why do you set afflictions before me? Oh Fortune, why do you scatter salt on my wounds? Oh Enemy of mine, how often will you strike at me? I am struck by my own fate and fortune.May joy, exultation and cheerfulness be with you.May prosperity, happiness and triumph be your companions.'(Translation: O. Watson)

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