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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stonepaste with underglaze blue and white decoration

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 9E

This ceramic ewer shows how Iranian potters used both imported Chinese ceramics and local metalwork as models for their work. The piece has the same decorative shape as some contemporary brass ewers. However, the blue-and-white decoration, with its dragons, storks and monsters, imitates that seen on Chinese porcelain.

Iranian potters had long drawn on both sources for models for their wares. They continued to do so during the Safavid period (1501-1722), when this piece was made.

Physical description

Ewer, with conical bulbous shape, arched handle and spout in the form of a dragon's head. Fritware decorated in underglaze blue with Chinese style designs of human figures, fabulous monsters and a flight of storks around the shoulder. Iran (Safavid), first half 17th century.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stonepaste with underglaze blue and white decoration


Height: 22.4 cm, Width: 19.5 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Blue-and-white ewer, Iran, 17th century.

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

Crowe, Yolande, Persia and China: Safavid Blue and White Ceramics in the Victoria & Albert Museum (1501-1738) (London : Thames and Hudson, 2002): cat.no.78, p.86
Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery. London: Faber and Faber, 1957. 133p., ill. Pages 98-99, plate 75A

Labels and date

Blue-and-white Ewer

Imported Chinese ceramics and local metalwork had long provided Iranian potters with models for their wares. They continued to do so during the Safavid period. Both sources can be detected in this ewer. It has the same shape as the brass ewer beside it, while the blue-and-white decoration imitates that on Chinese porcelain.

Fritware painted under the glaze

Museum no. 618-1889 [Jameel Gallery]





Subjects depicted

Figures; Dragons; Monsters; Stork


Islam; Containers; Ceramics


Middle East Section

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