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Handled jug with princely figures

Place made: 
Asia; Iran
Handled jug with princely figures, late 12th-early 13th century (Seljuq Period, 1037–1196)
Stonepaste; white glaze, overglaze enamel pigments, and gold (minai ware)
Overall: 5 7/8 in x 5 5/8 in; 14.9 cm x 14.3 cm
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
MH 2012.40.15

The bright colors and painterly decoration of this cup are typical of mina’i ware, which was popular in Iran from the 12th to the 13th century. The ten seated men are probably royal figures, indicated by their gold tiraz, the honorific arm bands bestowed by sultans upon their supporters and courtiers. The cup bears two rows of calligraphy – one around the outside of the rim and another on the interior. Calligraphic inscriptions on cups like this usually offer good wishes and fortune to the cup’s owner.

-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)