Name of Object:



Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums

About Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums, Glasgow

Date of Object:

Hegira 7th century / AD 13th century

Museum Inventory Number:

BC 33.28

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Stone-paste with underglaze blue decoration, over which lustre glaze.


Height 17 cm, diameter (of rim) 4 cm; (of base) 6.5 cm; (of body) 12 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Raqqa, Syria.


An example of little-known AH 7th century / AD 13th-century Syrian ceramics, this bulbous-shaped ewer has an elegantly twisted handle and a small spout. The body is decorated with brown-coloured linear designs in horizontal bands. Unfortunately, the transparent glaze has deteriorated to such a degree, that it now conceals the underglaze painting. The shape of this vessel is very interesting from an artistic point of view as it is interconnected with designs in both glass and metalwork. The bulbous shape of the body and neck and the twisted handle appear in contemporary glass, while the fine lines of the decoration round the belly of the ewer remind us of contemporary metal inlay from both Iraq and Iran.

View Short Description

This Raqqa lustre-decorated vessel has been inspired in its shape by both glass and metal vessels. The bulbous shape of the body and neck, and the twisted handle, appear in contemporary glass, while the fine lines of the decoration round the belly are inspired by contemporary metal inlay.

How date and origin were established:

Artistic analysis: although the shape of the ewer is not as common as most other shapes in Raqqa pottery, the material composition of the body and the way it has deteriorated; the cobalt-blue colour and the glaze and lustre decoration, all belong to Raqqa ware-type ceramics of the 7th / 13th-century.

How Object was obtained:

Part of the collection given to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944.

How provenance was established:

The vessel's material composition and its deterioration is typical of Raqqa ware of the 7th / 13th century.

Selected bibliography:

Fehervari, G., Ceramics of the Islamic World in the Tareq Rajab Museum, London, 2000.

Grube, E. J., Cobalt and Lustre: The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery, the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Vol. 9, London, 1994.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Ewer" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;ISL;uk;Mus04;14;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-GailaniNoorah Al-Gailani

Noorah Al-Gailani is Curator for Islamic Civilisations at Glasgow Museums, Scotland. With a BA in Interior Design from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and three years' experience in design and folk art preservation, she moved to the UK in 1992. On completing her MA in Museum Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1994, she worked as Project Officer at the Grange Museum of Community History documenting the presence of Muslim communities in the London Borough of Brent. In 1995 she was Assistant Curator, Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, and in 1996 became Curator for John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism in London. She co-authored The Islamic Year: Surahs, Stories and Celebrations (Stroud: Hawthorn Press, 2002) for non-Muslim children. Since 2003 she has been based at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, working across the city's museums to interpret Islamic art and culture, ancient and modern, through research, exhibitions and educational activities.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: UK4 20


 Artistic Introduction

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Islamic Dynasties / Period


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