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Storage jar

Storage jar

  • Place of origin:

    Iran ("Post Sassanian", made)
    Iraq (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    750-1000 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware and glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 1W

Storage jars were made in the thousands in the early Islamic period. This example may have contained date syrup or another product, and the jar and its contents were exported throughout the world, to East Africa, South East Asia, China and Japan, where shards have been found. A glaze was essential as the clay was porous, but the turquoise colourant and the undulating trail of pinched clay ornament were expensive additions to a simple storage jar. After the Abbasid caliphate was established in Iraq in AD 750, Muslim merchants developed a direct route to China. The jar is very similar to a type made in parts of Iraq and Iran in the later years of Sasanian rule (about AD 224 to 631), before the Islamic conquest, which continued to be produced.

Physical description

Storage jar, buff coloured earthenware, of ovoid shape four applied loop handles at the neck, the shoulders applied with a thumb-impressed undulating band of clay beads and flowerhead, covered in an alkaline turquoise glaze.

Place of Origin

Iran ("Post Sassanian", made)
Iraq (possibly, made)


750-1000 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Earthenware and glaze


Height: 62.8 cm

Object history note

Received from Mons. R. Hormozdian, 33 Rue Bellfond (rue de Bellefond?)

Descriptive line

Storage jar with turquoise glaze, southern Iraq or south-west Iran, 750-1000

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Tim Stanley ed., with Mariam Rosser-Owen and Stephen Vernoit, Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the Middle East, London, V&A Publications, 2004, plate 16

Labels and date

Turquoise Storage Jar
Southern Iraq or south-west Iran

Decorated simply with a trail of pinched clay and turquoise glaze, this jar is very similar to a type made in parts of Iraq and Iran in later Sasanian times, before the Islamic conquest. Such jars were used locally and to ship goods such as date syrup to destinations as distant as Japan.

Earthenware with applied decoration and coloured glaze

Museum no. Circ.106-1929 [Jameel Gallery]

Production Note



Containers; Earthenware


Middle East Section

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