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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Mongol Fritware Bowl
Mongol Fritware Bowl - JB.1159
Origin: Iran
Circa: 14 th Century AD to 15 th Century AD
Dimensions: 3.9" (9.9cm) high x 8.8" (22.4cm) wide
Collection: Islamic
Medium: Frit
Condition: Extra Fine

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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Stonepaste, thrown bowl with applied white ground- slip, black, blue and metallic green decoration beneath transparent glaze; angular, carinated sides rise up from vertical footring; decoration consists of interlacing crisscross motif at centre, flowers within interstices, cavetto with waterweed motif, rim with 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 of Kashan in Iran. This piece however, has a rather more provincial feel and perhaps was made at a kiln 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. Enormous loss of life was suffered. Artisans either fled or were 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 ACE 1256. Recovery could begin. The new era brought in considerable changes in both style and technique. 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. Mongol wares show the impact of Chinese design and this piece likely imitates Chinese celadon. The decoration is more mannered, far more dense and we see the use of darker colour in underglaze. 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 the bowl. Geometric elements are not something new to Islamic ceramics at this time and may be seen as a continuation of earlier styles. The leaves however, are rendered in typical Mongol style. Unusual to find a ceramic in such excellent condition. For similarly decoration to exterior, cf. Watson, P.388 Cat.Q.18 - (JB.1159)


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