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Beautiful Islamic Nishapur Blue Glazed Pottery Jar

Near East, Persia (Iran), Nishapur, ca. late 10th century to early 13th century CE. A tall pottery jar with a pleasing, rounded body, a flared rim, and small round foot. A thick, deep blue-green glaze that has achieved a silvery iridescence coats all but the foot. Size: 2.75" W x 4.7" H (7 cm x 11.9 cm)

Nishapur was a center of politics and culture in medieval Persia, and their pottery is some of the most unique and beautiful in history. These turquoise items are the result of technological innovation at the end of the 10th century. The body of this jar and others of its style are made of finely ground quartz mixed with clay; this created a white surface on which the artists could paint designs directly. The glaze is alkaline, with a copper base to give it its color, and would be poured over the clay. These pieces may have been inspired by the blue and white glazed pottery that travelled the Silk Road from Tang Dynasty China, but the end result here is clearly not just an imitation, but an entirely different, radical style developed in Nishapur.

Condition: Tiny chips to rim and foot, otherwise intact. Beautiful craquelure on the glaze.

Provenance: private New Jersey USA collection, acquired over twenty years ago

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