عربي Français
Collection Highlights

Pot strainer bearing floral and geometrical motifs

Pot strainer bearing floral and geometrical motifs
© BA Antiquities Museum/M. Mounir

other angles
Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0956

Inv.Inventory
 (M. of Islamic Art) 6273/11

where to find


showcase 32

Pot strainer bearing floral and geometrical motifs

Category:
Containers and related objects, pot strainers
Date:
Islamic Period (641-1517)
Provenance:
Unknown
Material(s):
Man made material, pottery (terracotta)
Diameter:
6 cm
Hall:
Islamic Antiquities, showcase 32


Pot Strainers

The pot strainer is the part that separates the neck of the pot from its belly. It is used to regulate the flow of water whilst drinking. Furthermore, it also protects the water from falling insects and pollutants. The perforations on the strainer are made in such a way as to enhance the varied motifs or writing. 

It would seem that nowhere in the Islamic world do pot strainers appear in such abundance as in Egypt. While these strainers encompass such a variety of intricate designs ranging from writings to bird, fish, animal as well as human and geometrical designs, the exterior of the water pot remained undecorated and without glazing.

Many inscriptions are sayings such as "the one who is patient is empowered", "the one who is pious, wins", "may you remain happy with them", and "be content so that you be protected or strong".

Pierre Olmer, in his study of Egyptian water pots, divided them into themes depending on the precision of the designs and the type of manufacture. He suggested that the pots with simple designs should be assigned to the Tulunid era and to assign the pots with animal and bird designs to the Fatimid period, even if they had no writing in Naskh script.  He also assigned to the Mameluke period those with fine geometrical designs and those with symbols found on many monuments belonging to that era.

Pots

Pots are containers made of clay and are mostly unglazed. They are used to keep and to cool water in them in countries such as Egypt. The water cools by evaporation.  Sometimes the pot was covered with a layer of glass, which allowed the water to keep its room-temperature. It was used during winter.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • زكي محمد حسن. فنون الإسلام. القاهرة: مكتبة نهضة مصر، 1948.
  • أبو صالح الألفي. الفن الإسلامي. القاهرة: دار المعارف، 1969.
Discover The Museum Collections