A LUSTRE PAINTED SOFT PASTE PORCELAIN POURING VESSEL AND COVER

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A LUSTRE PAINTED SOFT PASTE PORCELAIN POURING VESSEL AND COVER
BY HATIM
SAFAVID PERSIA, SECOND HALF 17TH CENTURY

The body rising from the foot through sharply rounded sides to the vertical mouth, three handles linking the shoulder and mouth, a bent tubular spout rising from the shoulder, the shallow recurved domed cover with rounded knop, the exterior glazed a brilliant cobalt-blue, further painted in rich dark lustre with various floral sprays and trees, the mouth with a band of arabesque interlace, the cover similarly decorated, the interior of the body with a large bold floral spray in brown lustre on a white ground, signed above 'Hatim' (minute rim chips, handles restored, hair crack around foot, negligible staining on interior, the cover with hair crack, the rim with a copper band)
5in. (12.6cm.) wide at mouth; 6in. (15.2cm.) high (incl. cover)
Post lot text
END OF SALE

The carpet sale will commence on
THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER
AT 2.30 P.M.

Lot Essay

An almost identical pouring vessel and cover by Hatim, now in the David Collection, was sold in these Rooms 12 April 1988, lot 381. A third example is in the British Museum (Pope, A.U.: A Survey of Persian Art, London and Oxford, 1938, pl.798 A; Lane, A.: Later Islamic Pottery, London, 1957, pp.102-3 and pl.85B;, Watson, O.: Persian Lustre Ware, London, 1985, pp.165-6 and pl.140), while a fourth, lacking its cover, is in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Another base, without signature but in a very comparable style, is in the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin (Pope, op.cit., pl.798B).
Other works signed by the artist are rare, the majority of which are now in the Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg. A study of them was published in Russian by Rapoport,I., 'Objects of late Iranian Ceramics signed by the Master Hatim', in Soobschcheniya Gosudarstvennogo Ermitazha, no.31, Leningrad, 1970. These include two dishes (also published Diakonova, N.: Masterpieces of Indian Art in the Hermitage, Leningrad, 1962, pl.49 and Ismailova, T.A.: Culture and Art of the Middle East (in Russian), Leningrad, 1960, p.42). A dish from the Hermitage was exhibited in Copenhagen (Isaksson, O. et. al.: Islam, Art and Culture, Statens Historiska Museum, Copenhagen, 1985, no.10, p.148). A further bowl in the Berlin Museum uses his signature as a repeated decorative motif. It is remarkable that, of all the lustre potters of the period, it is only Hatim who signed his products. The quality of the decoration, and in particular the consistency of the colour of the lustre is in marked contrast to some of the pieces of the period. These features must have been hardest to achieve in bowls of the present shape, where the form makes it remarkably difficult to get enough airflow to the interior fully to reduce the designs there to a metallic lustre.
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