Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Iran (produced)

  • Date:

    1650-1700 (made)
    1800-1825 (mounted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware painted in underglaze cobalt blue and chromium black, with engraved brass mount

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 28, shelf 3

A kalian is an oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water. They are also known as a hookah, huqqa, qalian, qalyan, qaliyan, narghile, shisha, and a hubble-bubble.

Physical description

Kalian, or hookah base, decorated with pairs of horned deer, leaves and fruit painted in reserve with black outline against blue ground with black hatching. Brass mount added in Qajar Iran, ca.1800-1825. Signed Khwaja Muhammad on the base.

Place of Origin

Iran (produced)


1650-1700 (made)
1800-1825 (mounted)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware painted in underglaze cobalt blue and chromium black, with engraved brass mount

Marks and inscriptions

Kar-e Khwaja Muhammad
The work of Khwaja Muhammad
Painted on the base


Height: 31.8 cm, Diameter: 19.4 cm

Object history note

The dish C.1974-1910 has a similar signature under the base. It should read: "Kha Haji Muhammed", "work of Haji Muhammed". (Mr. R.W. Skelton, 12/04/1961)

Descriptive line

Kalian (water-pipe base), fritware underglaze-painted in cobalt blue with black outline, Iran, 1650-1700. Brass mount added in Qajar Iran, early 19th century

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

Crowe, Yolande. Persia and China. Safavid blue and white ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum 1501-1738. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002. ISBN 0-9538196-1-2

Production Note



Fritware; Brass (alloy)


Painted; Glazed; Engraved; Mounted

Subjects depicted

Antelope; Leaves; Deer; Fruit


Ceramics; Smoking accessories


Middle East Section

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.