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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Figure of a camel carrying a young girl

  • loan

Glossary (3)

earthenware, glaze, luted

  • 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.


    • currently in research collection

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Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    With its distinctive glaze colour and brick-red body, this figure differs from the typical glazed earthenwares of the Tang, made by the Gongxian kilns at Huangye in Gongyi, Henan province, which have a beige-coloured body and are glazed in the bright sancai (‘three colour’) palette. Another example in the Barlow collection, of the same type as the present piece, is the figure of a chimera, [LI1301.402].

    The camel is depicted strident, its four legs with prominent hooves resting on an oval ring-shaped plinth, its head raised high and turned slightly to the left, clearly modelled with prominent eyes in deep sockets, sharp teeth, and a ruffled furry mane. The furry neck has a long pendant flap, the legs and humps have similar patches of rough fur, the tail is curled to one side. A large oval cloth is placed over the two humps, secured with straps at front and back which bear foliate and ring-shaped trappings. The camel is heavily packed and a young girl is riding on top, seated on thick bags, which are piled on top of each other in graded sizes, with long poles sticking out on both sides. The girl has a round face, her hair is tied in two bunches. She is dressed in a long garment with wide sleeves, a long scarf draped around the shoulders and falling down over her back. She is seated sideways, her body turned to the left, one leg pulled up in front, the other angled at the back, the left hand raised, the right hand resting on the left foot. The camel is glazed in a yellowish-brown colour, the plinth left unglazed except for an accidental splash, the thick furry parts of the animal’s coat are reserved in the red pottery and show traces of dark red pigment, the uppermost bags are glazed, the middle ones unglazed and covered with red pigment, the lowest ones glazed again and their surface structured with hatching. The figure is hollow underneath.

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