Indus Valley Terracotta Bowl with Arrow Design


A finely moulded Indus Valley container, likely used in antiquity as an eating or drinking vessel. The piece features a cylindrical body which flares out from the small flat foot. The sides lead to the wide mouth opening with the rim slightly curving inwards. The body is decorated in black pigment and displays arrow shaped motifs facing right. The pattern is framed with a horizontal continuous band above and below. A further three bands are painted on the upper body with the top one covering the rim.

Date: Circa 2500-2000 B.C.
Provenance: From the David Gold (deceased) collection, 1970’s.
Condition: Very fine condition with some earthly encrustation to the surface.


SKU: SM-19 Category: Tags: ,

The Indus Valley is a Bronze Age civilization from the Near East, which lasted from 3300 BC to 31 BC. It was one of three early and widespread cradles of civilisation along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The culture was discovered when engraved seals were found in the Pakistani province of Punjab in 1920-21, first in the ancient city of Harappa and then locations down the Indus River leading to Mohenjo-daro.

Important innovations of the Indus Valley civilisation included standardised weights and measures and seal carving but were also skilled in a range of techniques including metallurgy and pottery production. Most of the pottery can be dated back to the Nal culture, which flourished in the north-west region of the Indus Valley. Their terracotta works are characterised by a linear style, a geometric repetition of shapes and lines. Also, animals and plants, rendered in a stylised manner, featured heavily on their creations.  Furthermore, short ring foots and bowls with inward-turned rims seem to be among the main properties of the Nal’s pottery. In the end, pigments could be added on the decorations, to create beautiful polychromatic vessels.


Weight 229.6 g
Dimensions L 10.5 x W 10.5 x H 8.4 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Getty Museum, item 57.99.2 .

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