iran: glass and ceramics

One of a series of photo-based posts documenting a trip that my mum and I recently took to Iran. My excitement at being in that beautiful country meant that I sometimes missed the details in our guides talks, so apologies for any incorrect info or mislabeling of photos! Also, I took my old Pentax K100d with me but was unable to get more memory for it so had to use a low-quality format- I hope that doesn’t stop you from seeing the beauty that I saw everywhere…

After flying into Tehran, we spent our first day wandering the streets surrounding our hotel, which encompassed the wonderful Abgineh Museum of glassware and ceramics.

Glass and ceramics museum, Tehran

Approaching the Abgineh glass and ceramics museum, Tehran

With little idea of what to expect of Iranian museums, we were astonished by the beautiful curation and display of the collection… the lower rooms housed objects, both ceremonial and everyday, from up to 3000BC to the Mongol invasion in the 11th century AD.

Glass amulets

Glass talismans, 4-6th century BC, northern Iran

Glass seals- or were they coins?

Glass stamps

Glass and gold necklace

Moulded glass and gold necklace, 4th century BC, Tehran area

Glass jug
Glass flask, 2-4th century AD, eastern Iran
Ceremonial vessel

Rhyton or ceremonial vessel, 1st millenium BC, Markil

Many objects showed an overwhelming sophistication of both functional and aesthetic design…

Beak-spouted tea-pot, 2nd century BC, Tehran area

Beak-spouted tea-pot, 2nd century BC, Tehran area

Cut-glass bowl, 3rd century AD, Gilan, northwest Iran

Cut-glass drinking vessel, 3rd century AD, Gilan, northwest Iran

Cut-glass bowl, 3rd century AD, Gilan, northwest Iran

Cut-glass drinking vessel, 3rd century AD, Gilan, northwest Iran

as well as great finesse in decoration.

Detail of glass vase, Uzbekistan?

Detail of glass vase, Uzbekistan

I particularly loved this four-sided glass display unit with its many little “rooms”! It housed hundreds of small glass objects from a variety of styles and periods.

Glassware display

Glassware display

Glassware display

Glassware display

And I was surprised at how familiar the shapes and motifs were…

Chevron glass bowl

Chevron glass bowl, possibly 3rd century AD

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Stippled glass bowl, possibly 3rd century AD

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Ridged glass bowl, possibly 3rd century AD

How sweet are these little perfume bottles?! They are only about 2cm tall!

Tiny perfume oil bottles

Tiny perfume oil bottles

Upstairs were diverse pieces from the 11th century onwards- some were beautifully simple and functional…

Blown glass bottle

Blown glass bottle

others were whimsical and fantastical….

Childs ceramic whistle

Child’s earthenware whistle

Painted ceramic vessel, unknown

Detail of ceramic vessel decorated with fascinating human/ bird figures

Tile

Cobalt star tile depicting animals, 13th century AD, Kashan

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Bowl with birds and figure

or dramatic, filled with symbols and meaning…

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Bowl with red edging pattern

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Bowl with arabesque decoration, Islamic period, Neyshabour

Earthenware bowl inscribed with blessings in Mandaic, 11-13th century AD, Shooshtar

Earthenware bowl inscribed with blessings in Mandaic, 11-13th century AD, Shooshtar

Bowl with Islamic calligraphy, 13th century AD, Neyshabour

Bowl with Islamic calligraphy, 13th century AD, Neyshabour

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Plate with calligraphy, 13th century AD, Neyshabour

Bowl with Islamic calligraphy, 13th century AD, Neyshabour

Bowl with Islamic calligraphy, 13th century AD, Neyshabour

But all were so incredibly beautiful that we knew this trip into Iran was going to be more than we could have anticipated! Back tomorrow with Iran’s food… or landscape… There’s so much to show you that I can’t decide what to post next!

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3 Responses to iran: glass and ceramics

  1. leslie says:

    Thank you for sharing your photos, Jules! Truly beautiful work.

  2. Beautiful….love the glass.

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