In Iron Age II Iran (circa 9th century BC), pottery vessels with a long and elegant beaked spout, were intimations of paralleled metal wares. Innovative elements such as plain or twisted handles and tubular spouts, were commonly added to pottery executions during the Iron Age. These jars, with a beaked spout and a deep, globular body, are believed to have originally been put on the top of a ceramic tripod or cylindrical stand featuring hoofed feet, imitating the metal versions that were prevalent during the Iron Age. On this jar’s looped handle, the three modelled imitation rivets, might also have been inspired by the repoussé ornaments that appear on metal counterparts. Many stylistic traces seen on this vessel have a strong Northern Iranian character. Distinctive differences of this jar can be detected by the spout of the rim level, and the absence of grooved decoration on the vessel’s globular body. Its buff colour and partially survived reddish-orange pigment also suggest that this jar is a Western Iranian style. Zoomorphic vessels of this type, were designed as a wine vessel, but they might have been used at a particular funerary ritual occasion.
Luristan Spouted Jar with Twisted Handle
A finely moulded zoomorphic Iron Age Luristan jar, with a tubular, beaked spout and a twisted, basket handle over its opening, dating to circa. 9th-8th century BC.
This jar features a deep, globular body, a flat base and flared lip. Its tubular spout extends horizontally from the rim, with an angled protrusion below. The spout was deliberately modelled to represent a stylised bird’s beak, typical of Iron Age Iranian pottery vessels. A small, curved volute terminal was modelled above the beaked spout, creating the impression of a crane’s profile, which is a boldly assertive style characteristic of Iranian terracotta vessels from the Early Iron Age.
Connecting the rim and the shoulder, is another moulded, looped handle, embellished with three small pellets, greatly resembling either a bull’s or an ibex’s face.
Period: Iron Age II
Provenance: Previous collection of Ingrid McAlpine, 1939-2018 London and Epsom. On loan to the Antikenmuseum Basel pre 1993.
Condition: Very fine condition, with minor repairs to spout