Guide to Islamic Art of the Ceramic Tile, Bowls, & Plates

A Fine Intact Kashan Lustre Cup With Handle C 1200
A Fine Intact Kashan Lustre Cup With Handle C 1200
Country of Origin: Ottoman Empire

MEASUREMENTS
12.7cm. height

DESCRIPTION
of compressed globular form on a narrow foot with straight neck and flattened loop handle with small knop thumbpiece, decorated with lustre on a cream ground, the upper body and rim with major and minor bands of calligraphy
A Kashan Lustre Pottery Bowl C 1200
A Kashan Lustre Pottery Bowl C 1200
Country of Origin: Ottoman Empire

MEASUREMENTS
18.8cm. diam.

DESCRIPTION
of rounded form with slightly everted lip and straight foot, decorated in lustre with a central flowerhead with radiating trilobed leaves and split-palmettes, the cavetto with a frieze of naskh script interspersed with dotted flowerheads, the border with a naskh inscription painted in reserve, the reverse with hanging chain pattern.
A Kashan Lustre Star Tile Dated 1279-80 AD
A Kashan Lustre Star Tile Dated 1279-80 AD
Country of Origin: Ottoman Empire

MEASUREMENTS
20.7cm.

DESCRIPTION
of eight-pointed stellar form, decorated in lustre over an opacified tin glaze with inglaze cobalt blue and turquoise, with a central spray of large trilobed leaves with a fish pond below and a bird flying overhead, flanked by a pair of spotted felines facing outwards, the dense ground of floral and foliate sprays enclosed by a border of cursive calligraphy

NOTE
The inscription contains two quatrains in Persian and the date A.H. 678 / A.D. 1279-80:

fi shuhur sana thamana wa sab'in wa sittami'a during the course of the year six hundred and seventy eight

The 1270s was a productive decade for the lustre tilemakers of Iran. The Ilkhanid ruler, Abaqa Khan, commissioned a major new cycle of tilework for his summer palace at Takht-Sulaiman and other dated star tiles from the 1270s indicate an upward curve in the fortunes of the tilework industry.

This tile is related in dimension and design to an earlier group from the late 1260s thought to have decorated the Imamzadeh Ja'far at Damghan. Examples of these showing very similar addorsed quadrupeds with a surrounding calligraphic band in naskhi script are in the British Museum (Porter 1995, p.36, no.21) and the Louvre; some are dated 664-665 A.H. / A.D. 1266-7 (Watson 1985, p.133, no.110). The Imamzadeh Ja'far star tiles provided models for many of the star tiles of the 1270s: the basic compositional elements - spotted animals, reserve grounds and nashki borders - right down to the standard measurement which suggests reuse of the same moulds.
A Kashan Mina'i Bowl with Turquoise Glaze Early 13th century
A Kashan Mina'i Bowl with Turquoise Glaze Early 13th
Country of Origin: Ottoman Empire
MEASUREMENTS
18.3cm.

DESCRIPTION
of truncated conical form with stepped profile and straight vertical foot, decorated with an opaque turquoise glaze and painted in red, black, brown, white and green enamels with a central medallion of a ruler or prince seated cross-legged on a low throne holding a drinking cup in his right hand, the border of the medallion with sunburst rays, a band of foliated Kufic below the rim, the back with cursive inscription in red enamel, three labels stuck to the underside "D. Kelekian, 2 Place Vendôme, Paris, D.K. 3374" , "K.R.M P I", and "Persian Exhibition New York 1940, P A 16"
NOTE
Quite apart from its outstanding aesthetic qualities, this bowl is of considerable interest for its solar symbolism. The ruler or prince is deliberately likened to the sun. Seated in regal posture and clad in gold vestments with a halo illuminating the space around him, he is the personification of the sun, the source of light and life - an ancient and enduring topos of Persian art. His presence is radiating light outwards into the starry firmament represented by the gold dots scattered across the pale blue ground. The beneficence of his rule is thus compared to the rays of the sun lighting up the world. The gold inscriptions, repeating the phrase 'Wealth' reinforce the statement of his omnipotence.
A Large Kashan Turquoise Glazed Pottery Tile 13TH C
A Large Kashan Turquoise Glazed Pottery Tile 13TH C4
Country of Origin: Ottoman Empire

MEASUREMENTS
47.5 x 29.5cm.

DESCRIPTION
moulded with a monumental cursive inscription and palmette-form knot above, traces of original gilding in a painted wood frame.