Islamic Art :
C Collection : Kashan opaque white glaze stonepaste conical bowl with splashes of turquoise
Kashan opaque white glaze stonepaste conical bowl with splashes of turquoise - MS.648
Origin: Central Asia
Collection: Islamic Art
Style: Kashan Ware
Additional Information: C
Location: Great Britain
Fritware, also known as stone-paste, is a type of
fine, hard light-coloured pottery in which frit
(ground glass) is added to the clay in order to
reduce its fusion temperature, as the resulting
mixture can be fired at a much lower temperature
than clay alone.
The formula may also include quartz or other
siliceous material, with an organic compound
such as gum or glue added for binding whereas
at the final stage a glaze is applied on the surface
for the sake of hardening the object.
Fritware was invented to produce vessels with a
strong white body, which, combined with the tin-
glazing on the surface, allowed them to
approximate the result of Chinese porcelain.
True porcelain was not manufactured in the
Islamic world until several centuries later whereas
in the meantime the finest Islamic pottery was
made of fritware.
Chinese ceramics could be considered as the
single most important stimulus to the
development of fine pottery in the Islamic world.
Previously Islamic potters had produced mainly
simple kitchen and storage wares, unglazed or
with low-fired turquoise glazes. The first meeting
with fine Chinese wares taught them that pottery
making need not be restricted to serving mere
utilitarian ends but could be developed into a
skilled artistic enterprise, producing goods of
incredible quality and of superlative aesthetic
standards for the luxury market.
The manufacture of fritware began in Iraq in the
9th century. Between the 10th and the 12th
centuries the main centre of manufacture moved
to Egypt, from where the technique then spread
throughout the Middle-East. In the 13th century
the town of Kashan in the Isfahan region in today-
Iran was an important centre for the production of
A wide variety of forms are included to the
ceramic production attributed to Kashan, from
vessels of closed forms such as bottles through
plates and bowls to tilework of various
dimensions. The town was well situated for the
development of this industry, being located near
sources of some of the materials necessary for
manufacturing the fritware. The high quality wares
produced in the late 12th to 14th centuries in
Iran, particularly those decorated with luster, are
notable for the loquacity of their inscriptions.