Kashan Lustre Jar, Islamic, 12th–13th Century A.D., Kashan, Iran. Photo courtesy David Aaron Ancien Arts
Height: 20 cm Width: 13 cm. Price on request
Provenance: Acquired prior to 1998, previously in a private collection.
A fine example of a Kashan lustre jug with a tall cylindrical neck, small handle, conical body and flared foot. The white background provides an excellent contrast with the rich brown-gold design, enabling its beautiful intricacy to shine. Around the rim is a frieze of stylised kufic script, whilst below is a frieze of roundels, each containing an intricate foliate design. The shoulder is decorated with a band of sinuous scrolling motifs, the lower body with stylised grapevines.
Lustre – a metallic glaze – was first used on pottery during the ninth century A.D. in Iraq, but gained more popularity from the tenth century onwards. The town of Kashan became the centre of the Persian lustre industry, and produced some of the most beautiful examples. It was in the thirteenth century that fritware, similar to the ancient Egyptian faience, was developed; composed of quartz and clay, it produced ceramics with a pleasing sheen.