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

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Greenware narcissus bowl with the Eight Trigrams and taotie mask feet

  • loan

Glossary (5)

glaze, luted, slip, stoneware, taotie

  • 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.

  • slip

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

  • stoneware

    Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1200-1300⁰c and is often buff or grey in colour.

  • taotie

    Stylized monster mask decoration with prominent eyes and scrolling horns. The motif has been known since the 1100s. Its significance remains mysterious.


    • 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 Eight Trigrams which are roughly indicated on the sides of this vessel, are made up of different combinations of three broken and unbroken lines. They are Daoist symbols used in divination, but are often used purely decoratively.

    The rounded basin has a flat disk attached on the underside, where it was supported during firing, and stands on three feet in form of animal masks. The outside is carved with deep horizontal grooves, divided by vertical strokes of different lengths to indicate the Eight Trigrams, with six bosses applied below the rim to evoke a drum shape (compare another basin in the Barlow Collection, [LI1301.99]). The feet are moulded in relief with eyes and eyebrows and terminate in deeply lobed outward curving tips reminiscent of paws. The piece is covered with a thin layer of glaze which has fired a yellowish straw colour and leaves a large uneven patch in the centre and another on the underside exposed in the rough pale purplish-beige biscuit. The undersides of two legs have been ground down, perhaps to straighten the vessel.

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