A Safavid blue and white jar, Persia, 16th century - Photo Sotheby's
of baluster form, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with black outlines, featuring two dragons within a rich vegetal ground, with a band of stylised clouds above and geometric motifs below, the rim and foot with foliate tendrils. 19cm. height. Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 GBP
NOTE: The style and design of this jar derives from Chinese Antiques blue and white porcelain prototypes. The export of such wares from China increased in the sixteenth century and greatly influenced Persian potters who then incorporated such motifs into their own creations. The decoration on this jar, which features two dragons, or possibly a dragon and qilin, at once echo their Chinese origins and take on a new meaning in a Persian context. The dragon had symbolic potency for both Chinese and Persian royalty, but whereas it is considered as beneficient by the Chinese, it is viewed as malevolent by the Persians and often used on army banners.