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HOME : Islamic Art : Turquoise Glazed Ware : Glazed Painted Mina'i Bowl
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Glazed Painted Mina'i Bowl - LO.673
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1180 AD to 1220 AD
Dimensions: 8.175" (20.8cm) high
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Fritware

Additional Information: A

Location: Great Britain
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Bowl with narrow straight footring, sloping sides and slightly everted rim, decorated on the interior with five seated human figures interspersed between arabesques,around the cavetto, in turn painted with a sphinx whose wing terminates with a human face. The surface is covered with a delicate blue-tinged opaque glaze. Below the rim, on the exterior, a band of cursive script. This type of pottery decoration is considered the last phase of ceramic deveopment for the Seljuq period and it is now believed that it was exclusively produced in Kashan, Iran. Mina'i is the Persian word for 'enamelled', as the colours would look as if they were cloisonne' enamelled. The mina'i technique of over-glazed painting combined with underglaze blue was developed in an attempt by some Iranian potters to increase the number of colours in their palettes. Stable colours were stain-painted in a lead glaze opacified with tin and, after a first firing, less stable colours were applied and the object was refired at a lower temperature. However, whether for economic or aesthetic reasons, this method was short-lived. By the time of the Mongol invasion this practice lost its earlier importance and was gradually substituted by the Lajvardina version of over-glazed painting.

For an in-depth discussion on Mina'i ware see: G. Fehervari, Ceramics of the Islamic World, 2000: pp 126-129. - (LO.673)


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