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Dish

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1640-70 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fritware, underglaze painted in blue

  • Museum number:

    890-1876

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 30, shelf 4

This is a large glazed and incided painted ceramic dish produced in Iran for the European export market. Its decoration features a central eight-pointed star filled with a neat lattice of florets with leaves. The points lead to triangular panels filled with alternating flower sprays of flower lattices. A larger plain star emerges from this pattern filled with overlapping scales with dots. The style of this dish is similar to the Chinese Ahua style meaning a secret or hidden decoration. The original Persian contribution to this style consists of the combination of various geometric patterns with incised contours emphasized in blue.

Physical description

Large ceramic dish glazed and painted in two blues. The central eight-pointed star is filled with a neat lattice of florets with leaves. The points lead to triangular panels with either single or double-lobed top brackets. These are filled with alternating flower sprays or flower lattices. A larger plain star emerges from this pattern filled with overlapping scales with dots. The flange is incised with eight double leaves springing from a small lozenge shape. A pale blue glaze covers the outside. There is a red cross, not a mark, inside the base ring.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)

Date

1640-70 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Fritware, underglaze painted in blue

Dimensions

Height: 9.1 cm, Width: 49.9 cm, Width: 29.8 cm at base

Object history note

Historical significance: This dish, with its geometric composition and flowers, is typical of the decorative scheme of most large dishes produced during this period. The original Persian contribution consists of the combination of various geometric patterns with incised contours emphasized in blue.

Historical context note

Large blue and white dishes produced in Iran for the European export market were typically decorated with geometric compositions and flowers. Painted motifs were combined with incised and sometimes moulded patterns. The final effect has similarities with the Chinese Anhua style meaning a secret or hidden decoration. This fine type of incised work first appeared in China in the Yongle period (1403-1424). Moulded dishes were also produced at the end of the Yuan dynasty. The original Persian contribution to this style consists of the combination of various geometric patterns with incised contours emphasized in blue. Incised repeats include segmented waves, dotted or plain overlapping scales, bracketed pairs of leaves and gadrooned lines. A plain coloured glaze in shades of blue or celadon usually covers the outside of the dish, and this treatment may indicate a connection with plain-glazed vessels, both Chinese and Persian, of the same period.

Descriptive line

Dish, fritware, incised with foliate scrolls and underglaze painted in blue with geometric and floral designs; Iran, 1640-70.

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

Crowe, Yolande, Persia and China: Safavid Blue and White Ceramics in the Victoria & Albert Museum (1501-1738) (London : Thames and Hudson, 2002): cat. no. 169 p. 125.

Materials

Stonepaste; Overglaze; Paint

Techniques

Firing; Overglazing; Painting; Incising

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Cross; Star

Categories

Ceramics

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Middle East Section

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