Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Ewer in the form of a phoenix

  • loan

Glossary (5)

earthenware, glaze, luted, phoenix, slip

  • earthenware

    Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1000-1200⁰c. The resulting ceramic is non-vitreous and varies in colour from dark red to yellow.

  • glaze

    Vitreous coating applied to the surface of a ceramic to make it impermeable or for decorative effect.

  • luted

    The fusion of parts of ceramics using dilute clay slip.

  • phoenix

    Mythical bird known as hōō in Japan. The Islamic tradition appropriated the far-eastern iconography of the phoenix and used it to represent another mythical bird, the simurgh.

  • slip

    A semi-fluid clay applied to a ceramic before glazing either to coat the surface or for decorative effect.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    The slender ewer is of oval section, formed from two vertical moulds, the pear-shaped body resting on a splayed mock foot, the neck with a phoenix head moulded in relief, with a sharp beak holding a pearl, distinct eyes, curly eyebrows, small ears and a shaped foliate crest below the oval mouth of the vessel. A handle with curling foliate terminals joins the bird’s head with the ewer’s shoulder. Both sides are moulded in relief with an oval flower-framed panel enclosing on one side an equestrian archer in flying gallop aiming his bow backwards to perform the ‘Parthian shot’, and on the other side a phoenix, standing on one leg, with wings spread and tail pointing up. The beige-coloured earthenware bears a transparent straw-coloured glaze, which is crackled and partly degraded, and ends around the foot, leaving the flat base unglazed.

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