African designs, £9.99
Height: 23.000 cm
Width: 12.500 cm
Gift of A.W. Franks
White water-pot with inbuilt strainer
From Tunis, Tunisia, 19th century AD
This vessel is painted in vegetable dye with geometric motifs and Qur'anic text. It is designed to carry water. The quotation around the shoulder reads: 'you who come to drink some pure, cold water, drink for good health and well-being and be happy , master, enjoy your drink and be blissful with a gulp that puts awat all ills.'
Most pots in sub-Saharan Africa are decorated before firing. In North Africa pots are fired twice, before and after decoration. The kiln is divided into two to provide a different temperature for pots at different stages. Moroccans distinguish these two stages as baldi (domestic pottery for marriage drums and Ramadan vessels) and romi (fancy ware).
N. Barley, Smashing pots, feats of clay f (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)