Safavid Ceramic Bowl, ca. 1700

Value (2012) | $15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail

I got it from my uncle when he passed away.

And do you know where he got it from?

I don't know exactly. He lived in New York for years and years. He was a professor there in mathematics. And he liked beautiful objects.

And have you any idea what it is?

I just know that it's a Persian bowl, and that's about it.

Well, it is Persian, and it's from the Safavid Dynasty period, which started in 1501 and ended in 1736. The Safavids were a mixed dynasty. They came from Kurdistan, I believe, and then settled in Ardabil. They ended up being a very powerful dynasty. They were also Sufis. Sufism is another dimension of Islam. This bowl dates from the latter part. It's probably early 18th century, maybe late 17th century. It's difficult to know. Very, very typical, with the three colors-- they used the black, the green and the cobalt blue. And the cobalt blue is something that you see a lot in Persian art, and it's very striking. It's really quite extraordinary. The border comes from sort of a Chinese origin. The birds are a real favorite image of the period. Now, the face in the middle, it depicts the face of the sun. So you're looking into the bowl, and it's radiating out from the bottom. What's good about this bowl is it's so large. Normally, they're sort of half the size. And given its size, it's remarkable it's stayed intact. It's a stoneware bowl, and it looks like porcelain on the inside because they're trying to copy the Chinese, which was in great demand. But the Chinese kept a very close hold on the formulas of porcelain. Underneath, there tends to be sort of a treacly, thick glaze. They let it run down. And the foot at the bottom will be unglazed, always. A conservative estimate for this, retail, would be between $15,000 and $17,000.

Oh! That's amazing.

Appraisal Details

Anthony Slayter-Ralph Fine Art
Santa Barbara, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail
Seattle, WA (August 18, 2012)
Ancient Art
October 28, 2013: Appraiser Anthony Slayter-Ralph has an update on this ceramic bowl: "I now believe that the bowl is probably Qajar [Dynasty] and 19th century. The Qajars ruled Persia (present-day Iran) from 1794 to 1925 and continued on from the Safavids." Slayter-Ralph believes that the value of the bowl remains the same as "it is a very large example and quite wonderful."

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