Enquiry about object: 8820

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    Moroccan Berber Terracotta Flask (Ghoraf)

    Berber People, Central-Northern Morocco, possibly Tsoul
    early 20th century

    height: 21cm, width: 14.5cm, weight: 1,319g



    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This tall flask or carafe (ghoraf) has a spherical base and a long neck. It has a handle to one side.  It is of unglazed earthenware or terracotta. It has not been thrown on a wheel, but made by coiling and shaping the clay by hand.  Such pottery items were made by Berber women in the central-northern part of Morocco. (Pottery items made by men tended to be thrown on a wheel.) In part the designs and colours of the ochre used to decorate the item emulate the patterns on basketry, another craft that was the traditional specialisation of local Berber women.

    Such items in earthenware were made to be used, and were used at large family feasts and ritual celebrations.

    The flask here is in fine condition, and is without chips, losses, or repairs.


    Bernasek, L., Artistry of the Everyday: Beauty and Craftsmanship in Berber Art, Peabody Museum Press, 2008.

    Boele, V. (ed.), Morocco: 5000 Years of Culture, Kit Publishers/Lund Humphries, 2005.

    Mourad, K., F. Ramirez & C. Rolot, Arts et Traditions du Maroc, ACR Edition, 1998.

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