islamic pottery


~ Bowl depicting Faridun, Kava, and Zahhak in an episode from Firdawsi’s Shahnameh.
Date: late A.D. 12th–early 13th century
Culture: Persian, Iranian, Islamic, probably Kashan
Period: Seljuk dynasty (1038–1194)
Medium: Mina'i ware; fritware with polychrome enamel on an opaque white glaze.


Hispano-Moresque ware is a style of initially Islamic pottery created in Al Andalus or Muslim Spain, which continued to be produced under Christian rule in styles blending Islamic and European elements. It was the most elaborate and luxurious pottery being produced in Europe until the Italian maiolica industry developed sophisticated styles in the 15th century, and was exported over most of Europe. The industry’s most successful period was the 14th and 15th centuries.

Top Image: Valencia, c.1430-1500

Bottom image: Manises dish, 1430-1450

Fritware dish

Kashan, Iran.  1268

“The devastation wreaked by the Mongols was not able to stifle the creation of art in the Middle East for very long, and this dish, dated 1268, shows that the highly specialized potteries in Kashan quickly resumed production.

The Far Eastern influence that the Mongols brought with them is found in the shape of the dish, which copies Chinese celadon porcelain, and in some of the flowers. The complicated geometric decoration, in contrast, is purely Islamic. Using a six-petaled flower as a starting point, the dish was filled out with an intricate interlacing based on an octagon. It consists of eight white bands that change direction eight times and alternately run over and under one another.”

UH, OKAY, but like, this dish exists BECAUSE of the Mongol invasions and the value they placed on human capital and the exchange of ideas, and those flowers are prunus blossoms lifted directly from Chinese art, so maybe step off a little with your “they couldn’t stifle it!!!!” narrative, David Collection.

Bowl with fish motifs

first half of 14th cen, Iran.

“Ilkhanid‑period potters in Iran imitated the range of green glazes of imported Chinese celadon wares, though they did not always succeed in duplicating their colors. This bowl is one of the more accomplished attempts. Its color, shape, and decoration of three playful fish relates closely to similar wares produced during the Song period (960–1279) in the Chinese kilns of Longquan.”

Bahram Gur and Azada

Mina'i bowl, Iran, 12th-13th cen.

“Some of the mina'i ceramics illustrate stories from the Persian epic, the Shahnama, predating its earliest surviving illustrated manuscripts by nearly a century. This bowl depicts the episode of Prince Bahram Gur hunting with Azada, his favorite concubine. Azada challenges Bahram Gur to a hunting feat, but when he succeeds, she pities the slain gazelles and reproaches him. In anger, he tramples her under his camel’s feet. The painter has conflated two different moments into one scene.”


Tiles with dogs. ( 1, 2 )

 Lusterware, a type of ceramic named after lustrous, glinting finish that was achieved by a particular kind of glaze. The town of Kashan gave its name to the Persian word for tile; kashi. It was one of the principal and most famous centers for the production of fine pottery and tiles between the 12th and 14th centuries.