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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Kashan Lustre-Painted Bowl
Kashan Lustre-Painted Bowl - LO.704
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1100 AD to 1200 AD
Dimensions: 2.75" (7.0cm) high x 7.125" (18.1cm) depth
Collection: Islamic Art
Style: Seljuk
Medium: Fritware

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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Deep bowl with straight flaring sides on a low foot-ring; rim decorated with pseudo-Kufic inscriptions interrupted at four quarters by blue and turquoise splashed dots. Below the rim, a narrow concentric band painted in cobalt blue, bordering of the main central scene, with four lustre figures in round medallions. A four-petal motif in the middle, outlined in cobalt blue and filled in with splashes of turquoise and manganese. On the exterior, a display of horizontal panels of foliate abstract lines in red, with a few splashed dots in turquoise blue.   Several vessels have survived with a splash of blue or turquoise on them: these seem to be the unintentional drops of colored glaze fallen from other vessels in the same kiln during the first firing. The splashes were obviously insignificant enough for the potter as to continue with the lustrous decoration of his vessel and may even have been left because of the good luck turquoise and cobalt blue were supposed to bring in averting the evil eye. In many other cases though, such as ours, such splashes were deliberately applied, enhancing the appearance of the bowl. The production of lustreware was possibly imported from Egypt at the end of the Fatimid period (909-1171 AD.) and then brought to perfection by Persian potters by the mid 12th century AD. During that period, Muslim potters developed a new and finer material than clay, "frit”, consisting of about ten parts of crushed quartz, one part of white clay and one part of glass frit, which was made by melting crushed quartz and potash, the resulting mixture being crushed once more in the end. Around the same time, the interest of decorating surfaces reached new levels of technical sophistication with the use of metal-based "luster" pigments, by combining copper and silver, and the method of overglaze was introduced. During this latter technique, one or more coats of pigment was applied on the surface of an already glazed tile or vessel, which was then re-fired in a specially constructed kiln, which facilitated the attachment of metallic oxides to the vessel. The result was a shimmering lustrous almost glassy surface, far smoother in texture, rivalling analogous objects in silver and gold. Iran, 13th century. (LO.704) - (LO.704)


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