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HOME : Islamic Art : AS Collection 4 : Turquoise Glazed Jug
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Turquoise Glazed Jug - GD.039
Origin: Syria
Circa: 12 th Century AD to 13 th Century AD
Dimensions: 7.1" (18.0cm) high x 5.9" (15.0cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Fritware

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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Ancient Persia was a vast geographical area encompassing most of what is today Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia. It had been home to three great empires – Achaemenid, Parthian 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 it was incorporated into the Baghdad-based Arab Abbasid Empire, the Turkish Seljuk Empire, and the 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 exercised an important influence on Persian pottery. That they were held in high esteem is eminently obvious from the fact that the Persian and Turkish word chini, meaning “Chinese,” is used to refer to fine ceramics in general. Deeply impressed by porcelain’s whiteness, strength and elegance, but lacking the appropriate type of clay and technique – it was a closely held Chinese state secret – Persian artists developed ingenious ways to approach its enviable qualities. First, they discovered that they could create a clean, white surface by covering their red, earthenware body with a watery clay mixture called slip. Later, a new whiter body was developed called fritware or stonepaste, using crushed quartz and clay. Providing a cleaner “canvas” on which to paint designs, fritware dominated luxury Persian ceramics from the 12th century on. This round bottomed jug with wide spout and single handle is a great example of moulded fritware with a nice cobalt glaze - (GD.039)


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