Camello con palanquín

Nº Inventario: CFC08
Descripción: Pasta de frita, vidriado turquesa
Dimensiones: Height 20.4 cm; width (tip of nose to rump): 14.2 cm; base: 7.9 x 9.7 cm.
Observaciones: Decoración:
The twin-humped camel stands on an oblong base. Its head and body were made in a two-part mold, while the legs were hand-formed. The closed palanquin (or litter) was made from stonepaste sheets and stamped with designs on its side and back panels and with additional strips and circles for its upper sides. The
tubular struts that support the litter and attach it to the camel’s body were hand-formed, as were the three pointed finials that surmount its pitched roof. The oblong base was also rolled out of a section of stonepaste and attached to the camel’s feet. The litter’s slant may indicate that it slipped backwards before firing. The camel’s body is covered with a blanket, as suggested by the molded ridges on its sides and rump. The lower section of the palanquin is decorated with a lattice-like pattern and the upper section with a largezig-zag design alternating with small circles. A small figure —possibly a musician— with its arms akimbo sits or squats on the back of the litter, above the camel’s tail.
The RABASF camel belongs to a group of over 400 small figural and animal sculptures, including some twenty other camels, most of which apparently functioned as decorative objects. Such figurines seem to have been popular in both Iran and Syria from the middle of the 12th to the middle of the 13th century. This example may have been created in the Syrian city of Raqqa on the Euphrates, which boasted a major ceramic industry during the first half of the 13th century. The construction of its palanquin and the possible presence of a musician suggest that the camel may refer to ceremonial, religious or military processions, including the Muslim pilgrimage caravan to Mecca.
Estado: Pronounced iridescence on the animal’s proper right side and lighter areas of iridescence on the left.
  • Grube 1966, p. 8, fig. 20; Oriental Ceramics, vol. 11: monochrome pl. 257; Canby, Beyazit et al. 2016, cat. no. 140, attributing the related work to Iran or Iraq, 12th to early 13th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 64.59: The camel’s head and neck are more horizontal and its litter more vertical than on the RABASF camel, and the decoration includes what appear to be flute-playing musicians seated on either side).
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