Ancient Persian Terracotta Jar with Zoomorphic Animals


A very fine Ancient Persian terracotta jar featuring a globular body leading to a short neck and an everted, folded rim. The vessel sits on a flat ring foot. The body is embellished with a register of two large zoomorphic animals, facing right featuring large exaggerated eyes and long curly tails. The animal’s body is decorated with a cross hatching pattern. Alternating with the animals is foliage motifs with five cordate shaped leaves and circular and geometric motifs. A single continuous band encloses the lower part of the register and four bands with an undulating pattern sits at the top.

Date: Circa 3rd-2nd Millennium BC
Condition: Fine condition, some chips to the rim and body.


Ancient Iranian artistic production dating to the 3rd millennium BC is characterised by finely potted, high fired terracotta vessels, usually enriched by dark pigmented geometric or zoomorphic decorations. Such vessels would have been produced to store food, but also as burial goods to be placed with the deceased in the tomb. Flaring cups/jars, such as this fine example, are among the most popular artefacts excavated from Iranian graves, especially the ones from Susa in southwestern Iran. Although the first examples of Ancient Iranian pottery production display simple shapes and stylised decorative motives, terracotta wares evolved embracing aesthetics driven from all the cultures Ancient Iran and later the Persian Empire entered in contact with.

Weight 486.9 g
Dimensions H 12.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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