Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Pope 1956



Author: Pope, John Alexander (1906-1982)


Title: Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine


Publisher: Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 1956


Details: First edition (second: 1980). Hardcover with illustrated dustjacket. 142 full-page illustrations in black and white, several maps.


This volume constitutes not only an excellent catalogue of an important collection of Chinese porcelains in the Ardebil Shrine in Iran, but also a major contribution to the understanding of Ming wares as a whole.

This important but little studied collection of Chinese porcelain was amassed by Shah Abbas the Great and presented by him to the Shrine of Sheikh Safi at Ardebil near the Caspian Sea in 1611. According to a contemporary chronicle, there were some 1162 vessels of various sorts.

In 1956 the collection, however, consisted of only 805 pieces, of which more than three-quarters were blue-and-white, eighty were plain white, fifty-eight are celadon, and a miscellaneous group of polychrome and monochrome wares. These were moved to Tehran in 1935. In the opinion of Dr. Pope, most of the pieces in this collection probably came as trade goods by land and by sea over a rather lengthy period. In general the average quality of these "export" porcelains is very high, and a sizeable group is of the finest quality.

Especially the blue & white pieces had great influence on Persian pottery styles. Many are illustrated here, with more than one piece in most of the 142 plates, as well as a map and a plan of the shrine. 


Pages: 194 pp.


ISBN 10:


Language: English.


Dimensions: 279 mm (10.98 inch) x 215 mm (8.46 inch) x 28 mm (1.10 inch).


Private copy, not for sale.


(copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by the publisher or by their respective licensors: all rights reserved.)