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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)
    Kerman (city)

  • Date:

    1650-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, painted in green and red slip and underglaze blue

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

This ceramic vessel is the base of water-pipe for smoking tobacco, known as a "kalian". The fashion for smoking tobacco in Iran became fashionable in the 17th century. This base contained water and was fitted with two long metal pipes, one to a cup holding burning tobacco and the other a mouthpiece; the smoke from the tobacco was drawn through the water to cool it. These are also known as hookah, huqqa, qalian, qalyan qaliyan, narghile, shisha and hubble-bubble.

Physical description

Kalian, or hookah base, decorated around the body with green landscape with red deer, alternating with blue lotus sprays with red and green birds

Place of Origin

Iran (made)
Kerman (city)


1650-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware, painted in green and red slip and underglaze blue


Height: 30.5 cm, Diameter: 20.3 cm

Descriptive line

Kalian (water-pipe base), fritware, underglaze-painted with flowers, birds and deer in green and red slip and cobalt blue; Iran, 1650-1700.

Production Note

"Kirman Polychrome"




Painted; Glazed

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Deer; Birds


Ceramics; Smoking accessories


Middle East Section

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