Mavera al-Nahr or Khurasan Slip-Painted Ewer with Turquoise-Glazed Highlights - PF.6011, Origin: Afghanistan, Circa: 8 th Century AD to 10 th Century AD, Dimensions: 8" (20.3cm) high, Collection: Asian, Style: Mavera al-Nahr or Khurasan, Medium: Terracotta, Condition: Extra Fine. This gorgeous terracotta vessel features a wide, flaring trefoil-lipped mouth. A perforated sieve serves to filter out impurities in the substances once contained within. An ewer such as this likely held precious liquids and oils. Although, it may have been used for serving water, this would not explain the necessity of the filter. Oils, however, which were not purified in those days, would often include bits of vegetation and other impurities that would need to be isolated. The shape and form of this ewer is classically Islamic, revealing the great influence the neighboring Iran had upon the cultures of Afghanistan. While the form of the vessel is traditional, the elaborate geometrical decorations are distinctive and unique to this type of ware originating in Afghanistan. The slip-painted embellishments feature a bird shaped motif that is repeated along the body, shoulders, and neck of the ewer. Turquoise-glazed fragments have been inlaid onto the surface of the pot, along the inside and outside of the neck, and along the lower join of the small handle to the shoulder. These gorgeous highlights add a bit of color to the vessel, made that much more splendid by the monochrome decoration of the work. These glazed shards again hint at the Iranian influence, where such glazed-vessels were quite popular. This striking ewer would have decorated the dinner table of an elite member of early Afghan Islamic society. Today, the beauty of this ancient world is as resplendent as ever and reminds us of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Afghanistan, the crossways of cultures.
Ancient Near East