Cup with Lozenges Containing Circles

Object Name: 
Cup with Lozenges Containing Circles

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Object Name: 
Cup with Lozenges Containing Circles
Accession Number: 
71.1.20
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 5.7 cm; Rim Diam 7.2 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
800-999
Credit Line: 
Gift of Jerome Strauss
Primary Description: 
Cup with Lozenges Containing Circles. Transparent pale yellowish green, with few bubbles (body and handle); transparent blue (lip wrap). Blown; pincered, applied. Cup: almost cylindrical. Rim has narrow lip wrap with rounded edge; wall straight, tapering slightly; base has shallow foot ring with short, transverse indentations made by crimping; pontil mark roughly oval (L. about 1.5 cm). Lower wall is decorated with continuous horizontal row of 12 lozenges (H. 3 cm, W. 1.3 cm), each containing one circle, all in negative relief. Surfaces behind these motifs are also decorated in negative relief. Single handle with oval cross section dropped onto bottom of wall, drawn out, up, and in to form semicircle, and reattached to wall above mid-point; two semicircular thumb rests, at top and center.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Strauss, Jerome (1893-1978), Source
1971
Smith, Ray Winfield (American, 1897-1982), Former Collection
Category: 
Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting
Venue(s)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 2024-02-04 through 2024-05-26
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2024-06-30 through 2024-09-15
Detroit Institute of Arts 2024-11-10 through 2025-02-02
Dining with the Sultan is a pan-Islamic exhibition spanning the eighth through nineteenth centuries and including some 200 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. Our goal is to correlate the objects, many of them rare works of art, with the sourcing, preparation, serving and consumption of food. We expect this to be a transformative exhibition, one emphasizing our shared humanity rather than our singular histories. Following the model of LACMA’s 2011 exhibition Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, it similarly will introduce our audiences to Islamic art and culture with objects of undisputed quality and appeal, only this time viewed through the universal lens of fine dining. In considering the admittedly very substantial and diffuse theme of feasting at the Islamic courts, we have cast as wide a net as possible in terms of both the time frame and the concept of “fine dining.” The resources that inform this study are two-fold: 1) Works of art that can be identified from their inscriptions or specific shapes as containers and receptacles for food or beverage, or are associated with preparing and serving food, or else those works that are similar to examples described by the written sources, as well as works of art, primarily manuscript illustrations, which depict food preparation and dining. 2) Rich textual sources, including a broad array of cookbooks and books of delicacies, texts on etiquette, instructions for princes, royal memoirs, collections of food poetry and parody, dynastic histories, endowment deeds, kitchen accounts, dietetic and medicinal works, travelers’ narratives, and diplomatic reports and communiqués. Clearly it is the first category that primarily will provide the visual focus of the exhibition, while the second will supply the documentary framework as conveyed through didactic materials and especially the exhibition catalogue. The sheer quantity of primary sources and the large number of relevant first-rate works of art together indicate the importance of gourmet gastronomy to Islamic courtly culture. On a popular level, the exhibition will stimulate not only the eyes but the appetite, reminding visitors of the commonly shared pleasure of food—both its taste and its presentation; it also will promote greater inter-cultural understanding and empathy by introducing American museum visitors to Islamic art through a practice shared and prized by all cultures—the act of coming together to partake of a meal. On a scholarly level, and drawing upon recent research in food and foodways, the exhibition will provide much needed information on the enormous class of luxury objects that may be broadly defined as tableware, while also demonstrating how gustatory discernment was a fundamental activity at the great Islamic courts.