Fifteen pieces of Islamic pottery, formerly in the collection of Dikran Garabed Kelekian, the New York dealer/collector known as the 'dean of antiquities'.
The Kelekian Collection of Islamic Pottery by Various artists, late 11th15th century
© V&A Picture Library
- Art Fund grant:
- £2,000 ( Total: £5,000)
- Acquired in:
- Executors of D G Kelekian
It is a mixture of dishes, bowls, jars and one bottle from Persia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Turkey. Among the most celebrated is the Egyptian bowl of the Fatimid dynasty (969-1171), reputedly found in Luxor, which depicts a Coptic monk holding a large lamp (bottom left illustration). To his right, there is an ankh, the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for life, a symbol appropriated by the Copts. This bowl is the only complete work of its type with a Christian subject. Another major work in the collection is the early thirteenth-century dish with a polo on a piebald horse, dated 1207 which is decorated with verses of love poetry in Persian that bear no relation to the subject of the painting. Executed in the area of Kashan, Persia, renowened for its elaborately patterned tiles, this dish epitomises the high quality of Kelekian's collection.