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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 75

    A GARRUS POTTERY SGRAFFITO BOWL

    NORTH IRAN, 12TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A GARRUS POTTERY SGRAFFITO BOWL
    NORTH IRAN, 12TH CENTURY
    Of rounded form with inverted rim on spreading central foot, the interior carved with a remarkable depiction of a woman in the act of giving birth, the baby appearing below, the centre with a large spiral, the glaze pooled at the focal point, on a ground of scrolling motifs, simple band borders around the sides, the exterior with upper glaze splashes and otherwise plain, repaired, areas of restoration to rim
    8 5/8in. (21.8cm.) diam.


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    The subject of this extraordinary bowl is extremely rare to find: the miracle of childbirth. It is probable that this bowl was intended as one to be used during the process of childbirth either to give water to the mother or to swab her. Harm from childbirth is one of the effects that many brass magic bowls are intended to guard against, see for instance examples in the Khalili Collection (Emilie Savage-Smith, "Magic-medicinal bowls", in Science, Tools and Magic, Part one, London, 1997, esp. p.74). In the present bowl there is no need for the inscriptions, the extraodinary nature of the event is perfectly indicated by the central spiral, the glaze pooling at the critical point, and the whole composition balanced by the grimacing face of the mother above, and the face of the child below, filled with wonder.

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