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HOME : Islamic Art : Islamic Glazed Ceramics : Slip Painted Nishapur Jug
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Slip Painted Nishapur Jug - AMD.143
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 900 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 5.7" (14.5cm) high x 5.1" (13.0cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Buff Earthenware
Condition: Extra Fine

Location: UAE
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The first indigenous Muslim dynasty to rule Iran following the Arab conquest, the Samanid Dynasty was founded in 819 A.D. by Saman- Khuda, a Persian vassal of the Abbasid Empire. However, not until the reign of Saman-Khuda’s great-grandson, Ismail I (892-907 A.D.), did Samanid power become extensive, eventually spreading outside of Iran and into Central Asia. The coins of the Samanids were used throughout North Asia, revealing their enormous influence on the region. Today, the Samanid Dynasty is renown as a time of cultural flourishing, especially in regards to the arts of poetry and pottery. The capital of Bukhara was also one of the cultural centers of the empire, along with the cities of Samarkand and Nishapur. Perhaps their most important influence on Islamic art was the Samanid innovation of slip painting that allowed for more refined, controlled glazed decorations on terracotta vessels and tiles. The Samanid Dynasty was a period of nationalism, where the Persian people regained power from the hands of foreign invaders. While Samanid power gradually waned throughout the 10th century in response to the rise of Turkic power in Central Asia and Afghanistan, during their rule the foundations of a native Iranian Islamic culture were firmly established.

Many Samanid slipwares are decorated with abstract designs such as the ovals around the body and pseudo glyphs on the neck of this early and rare jug. Later examples sport palmettes and scrolls. The technical and artistic quality, in the crispness of execution and sureness of placing are noteworthy even on this more primitive example. This magnificent and beautifully decorated earthenware jug is from eastern Iran, probably Nishapur. It features a white slip with black, white and red slip repeated geometric designs under a transparent glaze. The overall effect is entrancing.

For a similar example see Oliver Watson, Ceramics from Islamic Lands, cataloging the Al- Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum, 2004. cat. Gb.13 JUG. - (AMD.143)


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