Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Flask with Zodiac medallions, Ilkhanid period (1206–1353), first half of 14th century
    Iran, Kashan
    Stonepaste; molded, monochrome glazed

    H. 12 in. (30.5 cm), W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1957 (57.164)

    This vessel takes the form of a pilgrim's flask, which has four lugs to attach cords for carrying it. All twelve of the Zodiac signs appear on its molded medallions, but the fact that Gemini and Sagittarius appear in the center suggest that it was made to commemorate a specific event, perhaps a marriage or the birth of a child.

    Libra (al-mizan, "the scale") is usually a straightforward image of a balance with its two pans suspended from chains secured at the sides of a central shaft. Traditionally, the pans are shown empty, but sometimes the features of a human face are scratched into the surfaces of the two pans. This variation has no apparent astrological meaning and is almost certainly decorative.

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    On view: Gallery 453
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  • Flask with Zodiac medallions, Ilkhanid period (1206–1353), first half of 14th century
    Iran, Kashan
    Stonepaste; molded, monochrome glazed

    H. 12 in. (30.5 cm), W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1957 (57.164)


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