Pitcher

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Object Name: 
Pitcher
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
59.1.515
Dimensions: 
Animal’s Head H: 17.4 cm; Shoulder Diam: 11.7 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
1000-1199
Primary Description: 
Pitcher. Transparent very pale green glass, with opaque turquoise blue trail, transparent blue animal, and one greenish blue ring; blown, applied. Pitcher, with truncated conical body. Rim plain, with rounded lip; neck cylindrical; shoulder slopes, with overhanging rounded edge; wall straight and tapering; base has tubular foot ring made by folding, and kick; pontil mark roughly circular (D. about 1.4 cm); center of floor has small ring-like projection. Handle extends from near edge of shoulder to just below rim and consists of three trails, which together make openwork pattern (from bottom to top): (1) vertical, dropped onto shoulder, drawn up, over, down, attached to shoulder, then drawn up, over, and down again, and reattached to shoulder, so that it resembles lower-case letter "m," but with gap between sides of central upright; (2) as (1); (3) similar to (1) and (2), but stretched, vertical at bottom, and horizontal at top; projecting from horizontal part of (3), thumb-rest in form of blue animal overlooking rim; it has prominent head and tail, but no other discernable features. Rim and top of neck have thin turquoise trail, applied before handle, and wound 2 1/3 times around circumference. Opposite handle, on upper and mid-section of neck, two small vertical loops, each supporting one ring: very pale green in upper loop and greenish blue in lower loop.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Smith, Ray Winfield (American, 1897-1982), Source
1959-07-27
Category: 
Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting at the Islamic Courts
Venue(s)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Dining with the Sultan is a pan-Islamic exhibition that will span the eighth through nineteenth centuries (and perhaps beyond) and include some 150 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. We expect this to be a transformative exhibition, one emphasizing our shared humanity rather than our singular histories. It will follow the model of LACMA’s 2011 exhibition Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts. It similarly will introduce an American audience 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, preliminary research has led us to 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 so far are two-fold: 1) Rich textual sources, including a broad array of cook books 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. 2) 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. Clearly it is the second category that primarily will provide the visual focus (the flesh, so to speak) of the exhibition, while the first will supply the documentary framework (the bones, as it were) 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 food culture at the Islamic courts. The exhibition, which is in preparation for 2023, will require between 6,000-8,000 sf. It will be organized primarily by sub-themes, which will include topics such as coffee culture in the Ottoman era, outdoor feasting or picnicking, and the continuity of Late Antique/Persian royal cuisine and etiquette at the early Islamic courts. At LACMA, the installation will include our 18th-century Damascus Room in order to suggest the types of architectural spaces used for receiving and feasting family and honored guests. 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; on a scholarly level 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.
Glass of the Sultans
Venue(s)
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
 
Glass from the Ancient World
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass 1957-06-04 through 1957-09-15
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume Two (2014) illustrated, p. 182-183, #924; BIB# 113723
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, pp. 121-122, #38; BIB# 68105
A Tribute to Persia, Persian Glass (1972) p. 18, no. 33; BIB# 65782
Glass from the Ancient World: The Ray Winfield Smith Collection (1957) illustrated, pp. 244, 226, #487; BIB# 27315