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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware with glazing

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case WN9

This blue dish has an incised design decorating its centre. It is one of the pieces produced by Iranian potters in the period 1600-1700. In the 16th century, ceramic production in Iran was on a modest scale. When the capital moved to Isfahan around 1600, the production of luxury dishes and wall tiles in a wide variety of styles and techniques rapidly increased.

We cannot identify a particular centre of production of ceramic vessels. Surviving pieces illustrate the many techniques the potters used. These included underglaze painting and coloured glazes, and lustre, which was revived after 1650.

Physical description

Shallow dish in fritware, with incised decoration of a geometric and floral design in white showing through a wash of blue under a transparent glaze. It is thought that this technique is not Chinese but Islamic, suggesting that this was the invention of Persian potters.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Fritware with glazing


Diameter: 50.4 cm, Height: 8 cm

Descriptive line

Large blue dish with incised floral-geometric design in white, Iran, 17th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Watson, Oliver: Ceramics from Islamic Lanes: Kuwait National Museum, Al-Sabah Collection, London, 2004, p. 476 cat. no. U.31 (similar dish with good technical description).

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Safavid Ceramics and Colour
Safavid potters created brilliantly coloured ceramics. The effect was often achieved with
glazes of a single colour. Many of these wares have moulded or carved decoration. The most unusual appears on bottles made in the 17th century, which bear scenes of people and animals.

A second technique used coloured slips, or liquid clay, under the glaze. Potters sometimes carved the slip away to reveal the white body beneath. In other cases, they added designs in white and other slips.

4-5 Blue Dishes
Fritware under slip with carved decoration
Museum no. 1288, 2813-1876 [Jameel Gallery]




Middle East Section

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