Persia (Iran), Nishapur area, ca. late 11th to 12th century CE. A pottery oil lamp in the distinctive Nishapur style, glazed in a beautiful, iridescent blue-green. The pinched top bowl, with its very narrow spout for a wick, sits atop a long, thin neck over a lower bowl with a slightly raised rim. A thin, strap handle descends from top to bottom. The body of this lamp and others of its style is 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 traveled 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. Size: 3" W x 2.9" H (7.6 cm x 7.4 cm)
Provenance: Ex-private Thousand Oaks, CA collection
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