Antique Moroccan Terracotta Vase
This antique water pot was intentionally made porous by the desert people of the Atlas mountains. When filled with water, the wind would pass through it and cool down its contents - helping to keep communities hydrated with fresh water. This vase measures 16" high, with a depth of 13" and a width of 14".
Uniquely, this example of the genre shows detailed craftsmanship with stunning gradations carved into the outer body of the vessel. The robust handles offer support for what would have been a very heavy object when filled with water. The coloring is consistent with its use and age, dating back somewhere around 150 years.
Morocco is renowned for its handcrafts, thanks in large part to the patronage of the Almoravid dynasty of the 11th and 12th centuries. The ruling class invested heavily into learning and skilled artisans honed techniques that were passed down through generations. Later support from the Marinid sultanate kept the traditions alive as the world became an increasingly global community – or, at the very least, aware of each other. Aesthetically inclined collectors in the surrounding regions made efforts to acquire Moroccan vessels for display in their riads, palazzi and villas.
In cities like Fez, Marrakech, Meknes, and Rabat, ancient technique persists. Over the past several hundred years, Moroccan artisans have produced some of the most lucid and profane household objects in the known world. Casa Berbere has assembled a choice collection of chic Moroccan objects that elevate a space’s savoir-vivre, that conjure the wafting scent of open-air spice barrels and the sultry tangerine melodies of ancient medinas beneath an altar of fantastically thin palm trees.