Kashan Lustre-Painted Bowl

SKU LO.704

1100 AD to 1200 AD


2.75″ (7.0cm) high x 7.125″ (18.1cm) depth




Central Asia

Gallery Location



Deep bowl with straight flaring sides on a low foot-ring, the interior painted in lustre with four male figures in medallions radiating from the cavetto, the rim with pseudo-Kufic inscriptions, below it a narrow concentric band painted in cobalt blue, as the lobed border of the main central scene. In the centre an abstract motif outlined in cobalt blue and filled in with splashes of turquoise and manganese. Similar splashed dots at the four quarters on the rim. The exterior with horizontal panels of foliate abstract lines in red,few splashed dots in turquoise blue.

Lustreware was possibly imported from Egypt at the end of the Fatimid period and then fully mastered by the Persian potters by the mid 12th century AD. During this period, Muslim potters developed a new and finer material than clay, “frit” consisting of about ten parts crushed quartz, one part white clay and one part glass frit made by melting crushed quarts and potash and crushing the substance again. Preoccupation with surface decoration reached new levels of technical sophistication with the use of metal- based “luster” pigments—a combination of copper and silver—at around the same time. The pigment was applied to the cold body of an already glazed tile or vessel, which was refired in a specially constructed kiln that allowed the metallic oxides to adhere to the vessel. The result was a shimmering lustrous surface rivaling those of gold and silver metal objects.

For an in-depth description of lustreware see G. Fehervari, Ceramics of the Islamic World in the Tarek Rajab Museum, 2000: pp. 114-123. (LO704) Bowl, lustre, cobalt- and light blue and turquoise painted ware. Inside a blue painted line divides the surface into several segments, in the central four-petaled area two large cobalt-blue and two turquoise painted heavy dots are placed, while around in four round medallions, the portraits of young sitting ladies are depicted. A pseudo-Kufic inscription runs around the rim, interrupted by blue and turquoise dots. Series ofscrolls in square compartments decorate the outside of the vessel. Iran, 13th century. Prof. Geza and King.

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