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

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.