Stonepaste, thrown bowl with applied white
slip, black, blue and metallic green decoration
beneath transparent glaze; angular, carinated
rise up from vertical footring; decoration consists
interlacing crisscross motif at centre, flowers
interstices, cavetto with waterweed motif, rim
abstract design; exterior with radial bands topped
by triangular motif; attractive iridescence over
whole; minor restoration.
This bowl is very similar to a group previously
deemed to be from Sultanabad given they were
found in the area of the modern city. They have
since been assigned a more accurate provenance
Kashan in Iran. This piece however, has a rather
more provincial feel and perhaps was made at a
in northeast Iran.
This bowl marks the dawn of a new era in the
Iranian world. The Mongol invasion of AD 1220
swept through Iranian lands leaving cities and
countryside devastated, never to recover.
loss of life was suffered. Artisans either fled or
killed. All but one pottery centre was destroyed.
Though Kashan was saved, production would be
sparing over the next 50 years until the
establishment of the Ilkhanid Mongol dynasty in
1256. Recovery could begin. The new era brought
considerable changes in both style and
As we see here, compared to some of the earlier
ceramics of the same provenance in the Barakat
Collection, the shape of the vessel is much more
angular and some might argue, less refined.
wares show the impact of Chinese design and
piece likely imitates Chinese celadon.
The decoration is more mannered, far more dense
and we see the use of darker colour in
The dark blue glaze – remarkable for its
resemblance to the stone lapis lazuli –
is particular to this group of wares. As is, the
textured patterning that we see at the centre of
bowl. Geometric elements are not something new
Islamic ceramics at this time and may be seen as
continuation of earlier styles. The leaves however,
are rendered in typical Mongol style.
Unusual to find a ceramic in such excellent
For similarly decoration to exterior, cf. Watson,