Ancient Persia was a vast geographical area
encompassing most of what is today Iraq, Iran,
Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia. It had
home to three great empires – Achaemenid,
and Sasanian – reaching as far back as 550 BC.
Persia became Islamic in the eighth century
following its conquest by Arab armies. For a time
was incorporated into the Baghdad-based Arab
Abbasid Empire, the Turkish Seljuk Empire, and
Mongol Ilkhanid Empire.
It is out of this cosmopolitan, multi-cultural
environment with its Persian, Arab and Turkish
inhabitants that some of the most extraordinary
Islamic ceramics of all time were created.
The importation of fine Chinese porcelain
an important influence on Persian pottery. That
were held in high esteem is eminently obvious
the fact that the Persian and Turkish word chini,
meaning “Chinese,” is used to refer to fine
Deeply impressed by porcelain’s whiteness,
and elegance, but lacking the appropriate type of
clay and technique – it was a closely held
state secret – Persian artists developed ingenious
ways to approach its enviable qualities.
First, they discovered that they could create a
white surface by covering their red, earthenware
body with a watery clay mixture called slip. Later,
new whiter body was developed called fritware or
stonepaste, using crushed quartz and clay.
a cleaner “canvas” on which to paint designs,
fritware dominated luxury Persian ceramics from
12th century on.
This round bottomed jug with wide spout and
handle is a great example of moulded fritware
a nice cobalt glaze