This is one of two antique pottery beehive covers I have owned for a good many years, bought from a lady in Horley, Surrey, who inherited them some time in the 20th century from her late father who was a retired antique dealer in Kensington Church Street, west London. The second ceramic cover is listed separately.For a long time I wondered what these pieces were until I found examples online in a museum in the United States of America. The purpose of the ceramic covers was to fit on top of a woven reeded basket in which the bees would make their honey. The hole in the cover allowed the bees entry and exit to the basket (the hive). The covers have a particular style which identifies the region in which they were made. They are not modern copies.
This particular cover depicts two confronting sheep i. It measures about 24 cm diameter (about 9 and a quarter inches). The depth is about one half an inch. The piece is quite heavy at about 1.1 kilos (about two and a quarter pounds).
The decoration is hand painted which was then glazed over. The designs have Islamic influences and also reflect the cultures of the peoples who made them.
I understand the designs can vary from area to area and village to village. I think the academic / museum term for them is'stonepaste with polychrome decoration under a clear glaze'. The rim to this piece had glaze applied.
As will be seen from the images this piece has wear and tear and some damages. It has a crack immediately below the round hole in the cover. There are also some small chips and losses to the rim in various places all consistent with use and age.
At about 4 o'clock as one looks at the piece the glaze has been chipped near the rim (part of the blue decoration is missing). Also in three areas the glaze appears to not have taken well (see 2 o'clock and ten o'clock).
There are no markings to indicate where or by whom it was made as this is a relatively simple piece of antique'folk' art from a region of Persia, made by country craftspeople for country people to use in their everyday lives. It has great authenticity and charm. Please enquire of me in regard to specific destinations for cost and availability.
Should there be any questions, or if further images are required, please do not hesitate to send me a question. The item "ANTIQUE PERSIAN HAND PAINTED CERAMIC BEEHIVE COVER SCARCE ISLAMIC FOLK ART (1/2)" is in sale since Monday, September 23, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian/Oriental Antiques\Islamic/Middle Eastern". The seller is "rentabid" and is located in Littlehampton. This item can be shipped worldwide.