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HOME : Islamic Art : Hispano-Moresque Art : Hispano-Moresque amphora-type vase
Hispano-Moresque amphora-type vase - CB.2743
Origin: Spain
Circa: 1900 AD
Dimensions: 21" (53.3cm) high
Style: Hispano-Moresque
Medium: Earthenware

Location: Great Britain
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The Hispano-Moresque ware is a style of pottery initially created in Muslim Spain, which continued to be produced under Christian rule in styles blending Islamic and European elements. It was the most elaborate and luxurious pottery being produced in Europe until the Italian maiolica industry developed sophisticated styles in the 15th century, and was exported over most of Europe. The industry's most successful period was during the 14th and 15th centuries. Around 711AD , the Moors conquered Spain and over the following centuries, they introduced two ceramic techniques to Europe: glazing with an opaque white tin- glaze and lustreware, which imitates metallic finishes with iridescent effects. Hispano-Moresque wares use both processes, applying the paint as an overglaze which is then fired again. Lustreware was a speciality of Islamic pottery, at least partly because the use of drinking and eating vessels in gold and silver, which was the ideal of a luxurious lifestyle in ancient Rome and Persia as well as medieval Christian societies, is prohibited, resulting that simple pottery and glass were the main materials used for tableware by the Muslim elite, when Christian medieval elite would still normally used precious metals for both dishes and cups. At first centred on Malaga in the south, and using typical Islamic decoration, by the 15th century the largest production was around Valencia. Wares from Manises and other Valencian towns were mainly for the Christian market, and exported very widely. In the early 14th century, the town of Manises, in the municipality of Valencia, became the most important production centre of Moorish lusterware. Vessels were covered entirely with lead glazes containing tin oxides, which appear matt off-white to pale pink. Hand- painted in copper and silver oxides, motifs appear metallic pinkish-purple to pinkish-brown. Stylized foliage motifs remain the main decorative motif. - (CB.2743)


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