Ancient Persian Terracotta Storage Jar

£ 350.00

An Ancient Persian terracotta low bellied jar with deep shoulders and an everted rim. On the vessel’s shoulder a register with four different panels of decoration; a large beast, possibly a lion, depicted in profile striding forward, with his jaws open, revealing sharp teeth, and its long tongue sticking out, giving it a very ferocious appearance. On the other side of the jar, a stocky bird, also in profile, with a large eye and a curved beak. Between the two creatures, two panels decorated with a scale motif. This decorated register is bordered with two parallel lines of black pigment to the top and bottom. A beautiful, good-sized example of ancient pottery craftsmanship from Ancient Persia.

Date: Circa 3rd-2nd Millennium BC.
Provenance: Formerly from a late Japanese gentleman's collection, 1970s-2010s.
Condition: Fine, stable crack to one side, some loss of pigmentation due to ageing. Earthly encrustations all over, some indentations.


Product Code: NES-97
Category: Tags: ,

Ancient Iranian artistic production dating to the 3rd millennium BC is characterised by finely potted, high fired terracotta vessels, usually enriched by dark pigmented geometric or zoomorphic decorations. Such vessels would have been produced to store food, but also as burial goods to be placed with the deceased in the tomb.

Flaring cups and jugs, such as this fine example, are among the most popular artefacts excavated from Iranian graves, especially the ones from Susa in south-western Iran. Although the first examples of Ancient Iranian pottery production display simple shapes and stylised decorative motives, terracotta wares evolved embracing aesthetics driven from all the cultures Ancient Iran and later the Persian Empire entered in contact with.

Dimensions W 18 x H 15.5 cm



Near East (Western Asiatic)

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