A Kashan monochrome pottery ewer Persia, 12th Century

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Lot 8R
A Kashan monochrome pottery ewer
Persia, 12th Century

Sold for £ 280 (US$ 366) inc. premium
A Kashan monochrome pottery ewer
Persia, 12th Century
of bulbous form on a short foot with cylindrical neck and curved spout, the shoulder moulded with a series of roundels formed by split-palmettes containing paired quadrupeds and vegetal motif
24 cm. high

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The collection of Jacques Desenfans (1920-1999).
    Private UK collection.

    Jacques Desenfans, who died in 1999, was born into a prosperous textile family in Belgium in 1920. He was a gentleman-collector in the old-fashioned sense and devoted his life to the pursuit of acquiring new objects and to the study of his collection. He was an educated man who was well travelled and spoke several languages, including Arabic, He was also a gifted artist. He lived with his collection, with pieces on display in each room of his house in astonishing juxtaposition: armed mannequins lined corridors; a Mughal facade stood alongside Fatimid waterspouts and early pottery in a glass Win- ter Garden; the bedroom contained an exotic Buddhist shrine, covering the windows; and cabinets of curiosities in the manner of the Renaissance examples were filled with all manner of things from Mughal jades to Himalayan ritual objects. The present lot is visible to the center of the top shelf in the portrait of him illustrated here.

    His passion for Islamic, Indian and Himalayan art began as a young student of textile design in Lyon, where he was sent in order to help with the management of the prominent family textile business. During his time there, he developed close friendships with many Indian, Lebanese and Persian students and dignitaries. Fascinated by their culture, and encouraged by French connections with the Middle East, he went on to learn and write Arabic. The combination of his fascination for exotic cultures, his studies and his overriding passion gave him an advantage in amassing a unique collection.

    Jacques played an active role in the study and promotion of Persian art. Alongside celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of monarchy in Persia, some of his objects were exhibited at the Musee du Cinquantenaire in Brussels in an exhibition entitled L'Art ranien dans les Collections Belges, 10th November until 19th December 1971. Part ot his collection was exhibited in the town of Braine L'Alleud, entitled Art de L'Iran et son Rayonnement, opened by His Excellency Massoud Ansari, the then Iranian Ambassador to Belgium, on 31st August 1973. He also loaned to an exhibition entitled Naissance et Evolution de L'Ecriture, organised by Société Générale de Banque, Brussels, 8th November 1984 to 3rd January 1985. He was well-liked by Persian dignitaries, includng His Excellency Hossein Ghods-Nakhai, the Minister of foreign affairs in Tehran from 1961-1963, who often visited his home. Other more surprising connections included Seneral Sukhotine, the Russian officer who took part in Rasputin's murder in 1916, who simply happened to be his neighbour in the area. Such associations, alongside the wealth and variety of objects he owned, emphasise what an eccentric and unique man Jacques Desenfans was.
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A Kashan monochrome pottery ewer Persia, 12th Century
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