Nº Inventario: CFC12
Descripción: Pasta de frita, pintada en brillo sobre un esmalte blanco opaco, con una mancha azul
Dimensiones: Height: 7.4 cm; diameter: 32.8 cm; diameter of base: 13.6 cm; height of foot: 1 cm.
Inscripciones: Rim inscription:
Although visually continuous, the inscription actually consists of three separate sets of Persian verses – two quatrains (designated A and B) and one couplet (C) – written in reserve against a luster ground. The verses begin at 7 o’clock and proceed counter-clockwise around the rim.
Quatrain A, by an unidentified poet writing about the pain of love, appears within the decoration of a number of Persian luster ware and underglaze painted vessels. (See Related works, below.) Here it is written from 7 to 3 o’clock:

Inscripción en árabe

Oh you, whose will it is to hurt me for years and months,
Who are free from me and glad at my anguish,
You vowed [not to] break your promise again,
It is I who has caused this breach.

Quatrain B, also on the theme of love, was composed by the pre-eminent luster ware and mina’i potter and decorator Abu Zayd, active in Kashan from the 1180s to 1219/20. Its earliest known instance is found on an enamel-painted bowl dated 1187-88. The quatrain then became part of the standard repertoire of Kashan artisans. Here it runs from 3 to 10 o’clock.

Inscripción en árabe

I carried your love to the heart of my soul.
I discussed the smallest matters with it.
Until I overcame the entire world.
In order to bring your love to the world.

The final, short couplet (C) is formulaic and appears frequently on luster ware vessels and tiles. It runs from 10 to 7 o’clock.

Inscripción en árabe

May the Creator of the world protect
[The owner of this bowl] wherever [he may be].

Upper wall inscription:
This seems to be in Arabic and may consist of at least one quatrain and a couplet, written in luster over the white glaze and framed by two thin luster lines. But unlike the rim inscription, it is so badly written that it cannot be read. This raises the possibility that rim and wall texts were written by two different scribes
(or scribe-potters). Alternatively, the scribe who wrote the rim inscription may not have known Arabic and copied a text without knowing what he was copying.
Observaciones: Decoración:
The interior is decorated with two inscription bands, written facing each other (i.e., upside down in relation to one another): one on the rim and the other on the upper walls. The rim inscription is reserved against a luster ground, while the other is written in luster over the white glaze. The inscriptions encircle a large central field with two figures seated by a fish pond. The figures’ facial features and hair are painted
in luster, and their heads set off with “halos” in reserve. The figure to the right holds a flower (or perhaps the front of his/her robe), while his/her companion gestures out with both hands, as if in conversation. The designs on their robes differ slightly: the robe of the left figure has a scroll pattern with open leaves and that of the right figure is decorated with stems and solid leaves. The background between and around the figures consists of curved or curled leaves (resembling lily pads) on stems and plump birds in
reserve against a very tight spiral designs scratched through the luster ground. There is an oval “splash” in bright blue right next to and in front of the head of the left-hand figure. A “sky canopy,” filled with loose luster spirals, floats above the figures’ heads. The fish pond at the bottom is edged with a grassy sward and the water is rendered with tight spirals scratched through the luster ground. Three fish, painted in reserve, swim through the water, the middle one swimming up-side-down. The exterior decor consists of nine large circles in reserve outlined in luster and punctuated with dots and leaf-like markings.
The interstices are filled with oval and triangular forms.
The dish’s wide profile and decoration, including two bands of facing inscriptions, are typical of the luxurious luster wares created in Iran, and more specifically in the town of Kashan, during the late-12th and especially the early-13th century. Its blue splash is also fairly usual, and probably resulted when a drop of colored glaze fell from another piece being fired in the same kiln. Cobalt and turquoise were regarded as beneficial colors in the medieval Islamic world and a small patch, however unintended, must have been considered acceptable.
Estado: The exterior luster painting is degraded.
  • Bahrami 1949, pl. LXXII (credit: Collection Jacques O. Matossian).
  • Bahrami 1949, p. 62 (Raymond Ades Family Collection, on loan to Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, U.K.: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A); p. 120 and pl. LIII (Collection Jacques O. Matossian: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A).
  • Blair 2008, fig. 1 (David Collection, Copenhagen 45/2001, dated Jumada II 600/ February-March 1204: figural imagery and Persian inscriptions, quatrain B).
  • Grube 1994, cat. nos. 156 (Khalili Collection, London, POT 1493: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A), 212 (POT 696: Persian inscriptions: quatrain A), 214 (POT 1454: Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 219 (POT 1057: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C), 261 (POT 498: Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 268 (POT 491 (Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C), 274 (POT 221: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A),
  • 275 (POT 826: Persian inscriptions, quatrain B and couplet C), 276 (POT 164: Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 277 (POT 1562: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C), 280 (POT 1563: figural imagery), 281 (POT 19: Persian inscriptions, couplet C).
  • Kiani 1984, pls. 42.1, 42.2 and 43.2 (Unidentified collections, three luster ware bowls excavated at Gurgan: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C).
  • Oriental Ceramics, vol. 4: color pl. 36 (Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran, no. 8224, dated 608/1211, said to be from Gurgan: figural imagery; see also Watson 1985, color pl. F); monochrome pls. 125 and 127 (nos. 4080 and 4771, said to be from Gurgan: figural imagery).
  • Pancaro?lu 2007, cat. nos. 74 (Plotnick Collection, Chicago: Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 75 (Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C), 76 (exterior decoration and Persian inscriptions, quatrain A and couplet C), 79 (blue splash), 85 (figural imagery), 86 (figural imagery), 91 (Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 92 (Persian inscriptions, quatrain B), 93 (Persian inscriptions, couplet C), 95 (exterior decoration).
  • Pancaro?lu 2012, fig. 24.1 (St. Louis Art Museum 65:1954, dated 600/1203-04: Persian inscriptions, quatrain B).
  • Watson 1985, figs. 52 (Raymond Ades Family Collection, on loan to the Fitwilliam Museum, Cambridge, U.K.: figural imagery), 64 (University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia, NEP-19, dated Safar 608/July 1211: figural imagery), 65 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 32.52.2: figural imagery), 68 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, C.163-1977: figural imagery), 107 and 108 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,
  • 07.670, dated 607/1210 and 11.40 dated Sha’ban 604/February 1208: figural imagery), pl. E (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, C.51-1952, dated 604/1207-08: blue splash), pl. F (Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran, no. 8224, dated 608/1211: figural imagery; also reproduced in color Oriental Ceramics, vol. 4: color pl. 36).
  • Watson 2004, cat. no. O.15 (Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, LNS 210C, dated Shawwal 614/January 1218: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A), O.16 (LNS 211 C: Persian inscriptions, quatrain A), O.17 (LBS 31 C: Persian inscriptions, quatrain B).
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