A Sgraffito Splashware Pottery Bowl,Persia, 10th/11th century

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The earthenware body incised with leaf, scroll and geometric motifs radiating from the centre, enhanced with a splash application of green, brown and aubergine glazes.

Diam. 19.3 cm.

Note: Medieval Persian splashwares are characterised by their use of vigorous linear designs incised through the cream slip ground to reveal the dark body beneath. The dark contours are then counterbalanced with coloured glaze applications which bleed over and across the design in a way that appeals to a modern aesthetic. The relationship between early Islamic splashwares and Chinese sancai wares, which use a similar lead-glazed technology, has been much debated by scholars from Arthur Lane onwards (Lane, A., Early Islamic Pottery, London, 1947, pp.12-13), but the lack of direct correlation in terms of shapes and designs, and the notable absence of any cobalt blue in the Islamic wares, suggests that the traditions developed largely independently. Lit.: Art of the eastern world, Hadji Baba Ancient Art London, p.136 and 137, No 61. Hali: Tapetes orientales y arte islamico, Mexico, 1994, p.21, no.57. O. Pancaroglu, Perpetual Glory, Medieval Islamic Ceramics From The Harvey B. Plotnick Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2007, p.86, no.44

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